October 2017 – “To boldly go” New private residential tenancy agreements – Model Agreements

Author: Mitchells Roberton
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  • The Bullet Point Updates for April and May 2016 gave an outline of the radical re-vamp of private residential tenancies under the Private Housing (Tenancies)(Scotland) Act 2016) (“the new Act”) and the July 2017 BPU touched on an aspect of bridging the gap between the old forms of tenancy (i.e. “assured” and “shirt assured”) and the new.
  • The new tenancy régime will come into force on 1st December this year. Most leases of houses granted on or after that date will be Private Residential Tenancies (“PRTs”) in terms of the new Act.
  • This BPU doesn’t re-hash any of what was contained in earlier BPUs but focuses rather on the new forms of “Model Private Residential Tenancy Agreement” for PRTs provided by the Scottish Government: http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0052/00526246.pdf
  • You do not have to use this Model Agreement. But the new Act provides for certain terms which must be included in all PRTs. These terms are shown in bold in the Model Agreement. There are a lot of them. They cover e.g.:

Rent;

Rent increases;

Deposits;

Insurance;

The “Repairing Standard” and gas, electrical and fire safety;

Payment for repairs; and

Ending the tenancy.

  • There are also a range of optional clauses which may be included. These are shown in the Model Agreement in ordinary font i.e. they’re not in bold. There are many fewer of these – and they appear mostly towards the end of the Model Agreement. They cover e.g.:

Contents and their condition;

Council Tax;

Utilities;

Alterations;

Pets;

Smoking; and

there is space at the end to add “additional tenancy terms”.

  • If the Model Tenancy Agreement is used then landlords must provide tenants with a copy of these “Easy Read Notes”.
  • As mentioned, the Model Tenancy Agreement does not have to be used. Landlords may draft their own PRT agreement. But they must make sure it contains the statutory terms. In other words, they must make sure it contains all the provisions shown in bold in the Model Tenancy Agreement. And most of that Model is in bold.
  • If however landlords do choose to draft their own PRT rather than use the Model Agreement they must give tenants a copy of the “Private Residential Tenancy Statutory Terms Supporting Notes” document (which runs to 20 pages) also provided by the Scottish Government: http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0052/00526249.pdf This explains in some detail the various statutory terms that the agreement will have to contain.
  • Sending tenants a “Tenant Information Pack” – which is a requirement when entering into an “assured” tenancy under the old rules – will however no longer apply for PRTs.

Note: This material is for information purposes only and does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by us. You should not rely upon it in making any decisions or taking or refraining from taking any action. If you would like us to advise you on any of the matters covered in this material, please contact Paul Neilly: pdn@mitchells-roberton.co.uk

 

 

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