The Scottish Government has now set the date for the introduction of the new tenancy regime in Scotland – 1st December 2017.

From that date, it will no longer be competent to grant an assured tenancy, or the most common type of tenancy currently used, a short assured tenancy.

Private Residential Tenancies

As of 1st December, all new tenancies of private residential houses will be Private Residential Tenancies in terms of the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 (the “2016 Act”). There are certain types of tenancy which will not be new Private Residential Tenancies and these are listed in Schedule 1 to the 2016 Act. The exceptions are limited.

In terms of the new Tenancies, there will be no fixed period of let. A house will be let to a tenant until either the tenant leaves or the landlord claims possession. A landlord will only be entitled to obtain possession of a house let under a new Private Residential Tenancy on one of the grounds set out in the 2016 Act.

Grounds for Possession

The grounds for possession set out in the 2016 Act include: where a landlord wants to sell the property or the lender requires to sell; where the landlord or a family member wants to live in the property; or rent arrears, breach of the tenancy and anti-social behaviour. Full details of all the grounds for possession and how they apply (there are certain conditions which must be met to fall within a specified ground) are set out in Schedule 3 to the 2016 Act and are summarised in our Briefing Note “The New Face of the Private Rented Sector”.

The 2016 Act also sets out some mandatory terms to be included in all Private Residential Tenancies. The Scottish Government is introducing a Model Tenancy which will, of course, include the mandatory terms and this is expected to be published shortly.