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Guide To Renting In Scotland

February 13, 2019 General


Renting a property

In Scotland there are many different ways you can rent a property. It doesn’t matter whether it is from a private landlord, letting agent, sharing with your landlord, or local council/local authority or housing association you will have rights. If you rent you will have a tenancy.

There are several different types of tenancy and the rights you have will depend on what type of tenancy you have. Your rights will begin as soon as you sign the tenancy agreement and will protect you even if the tenancy comes to an end.

Renting from Private landlords

If you rent from a private landlord then you will probably have either a short assured tenancy or an assured tenancy. The difference between both of these is that a short assured tenancy is a tenancy that started after the 2 January 1989, you received an AT5 form before the tenancy started telling you that it is a short assured tenancy and your tenancy is for at least six months.

The new private residential tenancy came into force of 1 December 2017 and replaced assured and short assured tenancy agreements.

Tenancy Agreement

Now that we have established what kind of tenancy you have and what your responsibilities are as a private tenant while you are living there, what would happen if you were renting and the relationship with your partner or your flatmate breaks down and you need to leave the property.

If you have separated after being in a marriage or civil partnership then you have the right to stay in your home until either you divorce/dissolve your civil partnership or your tenancy ends.

If your partner leaves then you have the right to stay in the rental property even if your name isn’t enough on the tenancy agreement.

If your ex partners name is on the tenancy then you will need to speak to the landlord so that they know not to end the tenancy while you are still living in the rental property. If the landlord wants you to leave then they will need to go through the official procedure outlined above.

If your ex-partner wants to end the tenancy then they will need your written permission to end the tenancy.

If your ex-partner wants you to leave the property then they will need a court order to do this. If they try and force you to leave the property then this is an illegal eviction and you can report them to the police.

What happens to your home after your divorce/dissolution may be a difficult decision to come too. You and your ex-partner may have different ideas about what should happen with your tenancy agreement.

If the tenancy is in your name you can ask your landlord to sign it over to your ex-partner. If your landlord doesn’t agree to this then you could ask the court for the tenancy to be transferred.

If you are both of the tenancy agreement and one of you want to stay then you can ask the landlord if they’d let you take over the tenancy. You may need to complete another credit check too prove you can afford to pay the rent on your own.

If the tenancy isn’t in your name then you don’t have the right to stay in the property after your divorce/dissolution, unless a court orders the tenancy to transfer from your ex-partners name to yours.

If you are living in a joint tenancy for example with friends then your options are slightly different compared with if you lived with a partner.

If you are living with friends and you want to leave the tenancy then by giving your notice in writing to your landlord will bring your tenancy to an end but not the tenancy agreements of the other occupants. Under the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 if only one tenant give notice then that cannot bring the Private Residential Tenancy to an end. There are four options for people who want to give their notice to the landlord but live with friends.

The landlord, may agree to vary the terms of the tenancy agreement and grant a new agreement to the people who are remaining in the property. This should include their new rent if they have to cover your rent when you leave.

The remaining tenants come to an agreement and decide to manage the rental cost of the property between them. This however means that the tenant who wishes to leave would not technically be ending their agreement and would remain liable for rent if there was a non-payment and would be liable for any damage to the property.

The landlord could agree in some circumstances to assign a new tenant to the property. This of course could only go ahead with the permission of the other tenants.

This could be the most sensible option out of the four but the new tenant would have to sign a new tenancy agreement with the new tenants name and how much rent each of you will pay. The person who is leaving the property will have to assign their share of the tenancy to the new tenant meaning that the rent increases for that individual.

The final option is that all tenants give notice. This would allow all tenants to mutually leave the rental properties.

In some cases you might need to contact a lawyer. It is crucial to choose someone who has experience with rental cases, letting agents and landlords to represent you.

At Jones Whyte, we have a  dedicated team of lawyers who all have a good understanding of what you are going through.

We can gather all relevant information and evidence about your tenancy on your behalf and focus on ensuring that you get the best possible outcome for you.

Every case is completely individual so to discuss your circumstances please contact our experienced team today for support and advice.

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