The Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 (the 2016 Act) was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 17 March 2016 and received Royal Assent on 22 April 2016. It creates the new private residential tenancy which will replace current assured and short assured tenancies. The purpose of the new tenancy is to improve security for tenants, balanced with appropriate safeguards for landlords, lenders and investors.
You can view the 2016 Act on legislation.gov.uk and its parliamentary journey from its introduction to the Parliament on 7 October 2015, to being passed on 17 March 2016 on the Scottish Parliament's website.
Key features of the new tenancy include:
- a modern open-ended tenancy;
- 18 comprehensive and robust repossession grounds, which will enable a landlord to regain possession of their property in reasonable circumstances;
- rent can only be reviewed once in a 12-month period (with 3 months' advance notice);
- tenants will be able to refer perceived unreasonable rent increases to a rent officer for a determination on whether the increase takes their rent beyond the market rate for other comparable properties;
- a more streamlined system with no confusing pre-tenancy notices and a simplified eviction notice;
- on receipt of an application from a local authority, Ministers can designate an area as a rent pressure zone to cap the levels of rent increases for sitting tenants. It will be for a local authority to present evidence to Ministers, who will carefully consider this and consult key stakeholders in the area before any decision is taken. Any limit set would be at least CPI+1%;
In addition, we will ensure that the rights of tenants and landlords under the new tenancy will be effectively enforced by the new First-tier Tribunal Housing and Property Chamber  (the Tribunal). It is our intention that no fees will be charged for anyone taking a case to the Tribunal.
How We Would Like You To Help
- This consultation outlines proposals on the content of:
- all of the prescribed notices required under a private residential tenancy
- the Scottish Government's Recommended Model Tenancy Agreement
- should there be an option of serving documents electronically, subject to a tenant's and landlord's agreement?
- the statutory terms (applicable to all private residential tenancies).
- Please read the consultation paper and give us your views on the proposals outlined above. Your answers will help us shape the policy and secondary legislation to support the new, modernised and simplified tenancy for the private sector in Scotland.
Responding To This Consultation
Responding to this Consultation
We are inviting responses to this consultation by 26 December 2016.
Please respond to this consultation using the Scottish Government's consultation platform, Citizen Space. You can view and respond to this consultation online at https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/private-rented-sector-policy/regulations-and-policy-private-housing. You can save and return to your responses while the consultation is still open. Please ensure that consultation responses are submitted before the closing date of 26 December 2016.
If you are unable to respond online, please complete the Respondent Information Form (see "Handling your Response" below) to:Alan Garft
Private Rented Sector Policy Team
Handling your response
If you respond using Citizen Space ( http://consult.scotland.gov.uk/), you will be directed to the Respondent Information Form. Please indicate how you wish your response to be handled and, in particular, whether you are happy for your response to published.
If you are unable to respond via Citizen Space, please complete and return the Respondent Information Form included in this document. If you ask for your response not to be published, we will regard it as confidential, and we will treat it accordingly.
All respondents should be aware that the Scottish Government is subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and would therefore have to consider any request made to it under the Act for information relating to responses made to this consultation exercise.
Next steps in the process
Where respondents have given permission for their response to be made public, and after we have checked that they contain no potentially defamatory material, responses will be made available to the public at http://consult.scotland.gov.uk. If you use Citizen Space to respond, you will receive a copy of your response via email.
Following the closing date, all responses will be analysed and considered along with
any other available evidence to help us. Responses will be published where we have been given permission to do so. We aim to issue a report on this in spring 2017.
Comments and complaints
If you have any comments about how this consultation exercise has been conducted, please send them to:Alan Garft
Private Rented Sector Policy Team
If you have any questions please phone Alan Garft on 0131 244 5401.
Scottish Government consultation process
Consultation is an essential part of the policy-making process. It gives us the opportunity to consider your opinion and expertise on a proposed area of work.
You can find all our consultations online: http://consult.scotland.gov.uk. Each consultation details the issues under consideration, as well as a way for you to give us your views, either online, by email or by post.
Consultations may involve seeking views in a number of different ways, such as public meetings, focus groups, or other online methods such as Dialogue ( https://www.ideas.gov.scot)
Responses will be analysed and used as part of the decision making process, along with a range of other available information and evidence. We will publish a report of this analysis for every consultation. Depending on the nature of the consultation exercise the responses received may:
- indicate the need for policy development or review
- inform the development of a particular policy
- help decisions to be made between alternative policy proposals
- be used to finalise legislation before it is implemented
While details of particular circumstances described in a response to a consultation exercise may usefully inform the policy process, consultation exercises cannot address individual concerns and comments, which should be directed to the relevant public body.