What is New Digs? in Rights
New Digs is a new campaign brought to you by Young Scot and the Scottish Government to provide information on the ins and outs of renting a property in Scotland.
We partnered with the Scottish Government to bring you a page full of general information on what to expect when you rent a property, from how to arrange a flat viewing to dealing with a problematic flatmate, but we also want to raise awareness of the new laws around Private Residential Tenancies which came into effect in December 2017.
What is Private Renting?
Private Renting means renting from a landlord. A landlord is someone who owns a property and lets it out to a tenant to make money. Landlords sometimes pay a letting agency to manage the property on their behalf. Whether you deal with a letting agency or a landlord directly, the laws around tenancies are the same and all new tenancies are now called Private Residential Tenancies.
Some of these words not making sense? Check out our Glossary of terms for renting.
The new laws that came into effect in December 2017 around Private Residential Tenancies, or PRT, are super important to be aware of, here’s a few things to highlight from the laws if you’re renting privately and you have a private residential tenancy:
Your tenancy will not have an end date. This means you won’t sign contracts for specific periods of time e.g six-month lease.
Your landlord can only ask you to leave if they have good reason, by using one or more of the 18 grounds for eviction.
You’re not required to stay in a property for a set amount of time but must give your landlord at least 28 days' notice in writing if you want to leave.
Your rent can only go up if given three months notice and you can dispute the amount by contacting a rent officer.
If you want to see these new rules in more detail including the 18 grounds for eviction and other changes, Shelter Scotland have created a comprehensive document that you can read here.
What's the difference between Private Renting and other types of renting?
The new laws around Private Residential Tenancies don’t apply to other forms of renting and your rights as a tenant vary from one type of renting to another. For instance, if you live in student halls you will usually sign an occupancy agreement (not a Private Residential Tenancy as student halls are treated differently) with your university or accommodation provider that states the terms of your lease. Similarly, if you are renting from a council or housing association, your rights will be different. Find out in detail about the different types of renting here.