Advice for private tenants

The tenancy agreement

The tenancy agreement is a signed document. The terms should be agreed between the landlord and the tenant before the tenant signs. All new private tenancies in Scotland since December 2017 must be a Private Residential Tenancy. The Scottish Government has produced a model tenancy agreement. A landlord cannot offer a tenancy agreement that reduces your rights set out in the model agreement.

The agreement will explain:

  • Your rights to have your property repaired
  • What eviction grounds that a landlord can use
  • The eviction process and timescales
  • Your rent and frequency of payment
  • Your responsibilities to maintain the property
  • If you are allowed pets or not
  • Any other conditions or restrictions that can legally be proscribed by a landlord

All tenants are entitled to a written tenancy agreement. Tenants without a written tenancy agreement can apply to the court to get the landlord to provide one at the landlord’s expense. Tenants have legal rights even if they do not have a written tenancy agreement. Tenants cannot be charged for a tenancy agreement.

Tenancy rights can be complicated. Shelter Scotland has lots of information and advice in the tenancy agreements section of their website.