A new Tenancy regime will come into force on 1st December 2017 in respect of leases of private residential properties in Scotland. Most leases of houses granted on or after that date will be Private Residential Tenancies in terms of the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 (“the Act”).

As part of their reform of the Private Residential Sector (“PRS”) the Scottish Government promised to introduce a Model (Private Residential) Tenancy. This has now been published on the Scottish Government website http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0052/00526246.pdf. It is not obligatory to use the Model Tenancy. However, there are certain statutory terms which must be used in all Private Residential Tenancies granted under the new regime.

Those who wish to use the Model Tenancy should read the introductory notes and the Easy Read Notes provided by the Scottish Government carefully. When using the Model Tenancy there are certain clauses which are mandatory and these are highlighted in bold typeface. There is space to add specific clauses if a landlord requires/wishes to do so. The Easy Read Notes must be provided to a tenant along with the Model Tenancy. It is understood that an “interactive” version of the Model Tenancy will be available on the Scottish Government website from mid-November.

Alternatively, landlords can draft their own Private Residential Tenancy but they must make sure that it contains the statutory terms. When using their own form of Tenancy landlords must provide to tenants the Private Residential Tenancy Statutory Terms Supporting Notes (published on the Scottish Government website).

It is worth noting that it will not be necessary to send tenants a Tenant Information Pack (a current requirement when entering into an Assured or Short Assured Tenancy) when granting a new Private Residential Tenancy.