Tenants' rights and responsibilities

The Private Residential Tenancy

On 1 December 2017 a new type of tenancy - the private residential tenancy - came into force. It replaced the assured and short assured tenancy agreements for all new tenancies.

The new tenancy, which must be used for all new tenancies created on or after 1 December 2017:

  • is open-ended. This means a landlord will no longer be able to ask a tenant to leave simply because the fixed term has ended
  • provides more predictable rents and protection for tenants against excessive rent increases
  • includes the ability to introduce local rent caps for rent pressure areas
  • provides comprehensive and robust grounds for repossession that will allow landlords to regain possession in 18 specified circumstances

Any existing short assured and assured tenancies will continue, but new tenancies granted in the private rented sector from December 2017 will be private residential tenancies.

Tell your landlord if your tenancy began after December 2017, and is not a private residential tenancy.

If your landlord does not take action contact the First Tier Tribunal (Housing and Property Chamber). They will help resolve the dispute.

Paying your rent (private tenants)

If you get into financial difficulties, follow these tips:

  • ensure rent payments are your top priority
  • pay as much as possible towards your monthly payments
  • contact your landlord to discuss your problems. You may be able to negotiate a payment plan
  • reduce your outgoings or increase your income:

Try all options before leaving the property. If you give up a property without good reason or as a result of your own actions or inactions you could be found to be ‘intentionally homeless’.


Landlords and letting agents have to follow legal procedures to evict tenants. Visit the Shelter Scotland website for information on eviction processes and your rights. It also has advice on what to do if you are facing eviction.

Welfare rights can provide information on eviction, mortgage arrears and homelessness.

Ending your private tenancy

You must give your landlord sufficient notice in writing that you intend to leave your tenancy. Check your tenancy agreement for the notice period. Get advice from an independent source if you believe this is wrong.

There are minimum notice periods for different types of tenancy.

If your tenancy began before 1 December 2017 it could be an assured or short assured tenancy. For more information on notice periods and how to end a private tenancy visit the Shelter Scotland website.

If your tenancy began after 1 December 2017 it will be a private residential tenancy. This type of tenancy replaced short assured and assured tenancies. See the Scottish Government website for information on how to end a private residential tenancy.


It is important that you honour the terms and conditions in your tenancy. It is important that your Landlord also meets their duties and obligations.

If there is a dispute between you and your Landlord, contact First Tier Tribunal (Housing and Property Chamber).