If you are a tenant here in Scotland, you have a number of rights to protect you and the property in which you live.
Here are some of the things you should be aware of as a private tenant:
You have the right to live in a safe property that is in good condition.
You have the right to live in a property undisturbed, without any unreasonable interference from your landlord or letting agent.
You have the right to know the energy performance via an Energy Performance Certificate.
Your tenancy deposit will be protected in a government approved scheme. It must be registered with Letting Protection Service Scotland, Safe Deposits Scotland or mydeposits Scotland.
You have the right to challenge rent increases that you believe to be unfair. There is a strict legal process that governs when landlords can increase your rent. It can be increased once per year, you will need to be served with a Rent Increase Notice which includes a three-month period before the rent is increased. If you feel it is unfair, you can apply to Rent Service Scotland.
You have a right to protection from unfair eviction. If you have a private tenancy your landlord can only evict you for a specific reason as outlined here and it must be stated in writing. Your notice period depends on the reason behind your eviction but in some cases, it can be up to six months. If your landlord ends your tenancy and you refuse to move out, your landlord can only recover possession through court proceedings. If you think you’re being evicted unfairly you can defend this action via a tribunal.
It is a legal requirement for tenants to receive a written tenancy agreement called the Private Residential Tenancy Agreement and all landlords are required to register with the local council that covers the area where the property is located as part of the Scottish Landlord Register.
Landlords are required to provide information on themselves and the letting agent managing the property (if applicable).
Eviction during COVID-19
Updated guidance on evictions during the pandemic has been issued by the Scottish Government. This includes an extension of the notice period for evictions of 6 months. A new law has made all grounds for eviction discretionary, allowing any tribunals to consider the impact of coronavirus before issuing an eviction order or not.
If you require any further help as a private tenant, or you’re looking for a property to let, talk to our friendly, professional team today.