The Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 will introduce a new tenancy regime to Scotland called the Private Residential Tenancy (PRT). This new tenancy is anticipated to take effect sometime in December 2017.
What happens to assured and short assured tenancies when the PRT takes effect?
The 2016 Act provides that a tenancy cannot be an assured or short assured tenancy if it is granted after the effective date. This means that from that date all residential tenancies let to individuals will, by default, constitute Private Residential Tenancies unless an exemption applies.
What happens to existing assured and short assured tenancies when the PRT takes effect?
The 2016 Act provides that existing assured tenancies will continue to be assured tenancies until terminated.
The position differs in relation to short assured tenancies. Such tenancies if continued by tacit relocation (silent renewal) will continue to be short assured tenancies until terminated. However, existing tenancies that continue by contractual arrangement (for example, month to month) will become Private Residential Tenancies when the Act takes effect.
The Scottish Government has recently published guidance for landlords which provides advice contrary to the current legislative provisions in that it states “On the date the new tenancy comes in to force, any existing short assured or assured tenancy will continue until either the tenant or you bring it to an end by serving notice to quit the let property. If your tenant’s short assured tenancy is renewing on a contractual basis, this can continue to renew under the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988 until either you or the tenant bring it to an end by serving notice to quit the let property.
We understand the Scottish Government intends to enact further legislation sometime in autumn 2017 to amend the current statutory provisions to bring it into line with the guidance published.
For more information or advice on the private residential tenancy contact our LetLaw team.