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Overview of the Private residential tenancy for a house

This document is for Scotland only.

Rent out property in Scotland with this private residential tenancy for a house. For tenancies in Scotland that start on or after the 1 December 2017, landlords must use a private residential tenancy agreement. This private residential tenancy agreement contains all the necessary information to rent out property to tenants in Scotland. Use this private residential tenancy to set out the agreed terms of the tenancy, including the rental amount, the details of the property and guarantors.

Use this private residential tenancy:

  • if you want to let out property in Scotland to Scottish tenants

  • if you want to let out a house in Scotland

  • if you want to formalise the terms of the private residential tenancy

This private residential tenancy covers:

  • the start date of the tenancy

  • the name of the landlord(s) and tenant(s)

  • statutory terms contained within the Private Residential Tenancies (Statutory Terms) (Scotland) Regulations 2017

  • rent payable and due date

  • who is responsible for decoration, repairs and maintenance to the property

  • insurance of belongings in the property

  • rent increases

  • deposit arrangements

  • utility bills

  • guarantors 

  • pets

  • smoking

  • whether any furniture is provided

  • whether lodgers or subletting are allowed

  • ending the tenancy

A private residential tenancy is a contract between the landlord and the tenant. It covers things like safety, payment of rent and house rules.

Most private tenancies started on or after 1 December 2017 will be private residential tenancies.

A private residential tenancy is defined as:

  • the tenancy started on or after 1 December 2017

  • it is let to the tenant as a separate dwelling (home)

  • the tenant is an individual, meaning not a company

  • it's the tenant's main or only home

  • not an exempt tenancy, such as holiday lets or resident landlords

For further information read Renting out property in Scotland.

As a landlord, you must give your tenant all the terms of their private residential tenancy in writing. If you don't you'll be breaking the law.

It's also recommended that you set out all the agreed terms, such as pets, smoking and deposit information, in the contract as it will help clarify things from the start.

Landlords are legally required to register with the local council before renting out residential property. It’s the landlord’s responsibility to apply to the local council for registration. The council will carry out checks to make sure you’re a fit and proper person to be acting as a landlord.

This can be done online by going to the Landlord Registration website or by completing an application form and sending it to your local authority.

Joint owners (anyone else who's named on the title deeds) need to register too, but they will not be charged.

For further information read Landlord registration in Scotland.

You need a house in multiple occupancy (HMO) licence if both of the following apply:

  • you want to rent your property out to 3 or more tenants

  • none of the tenants are related or part of the same family

If you want to let out your home in this way, there are extra criteria you'll need to meet before the council will agree to register you.

They'll have to decide:

  • if you are 'fit and proper' (able) to hold an HMO licence

  • if the property is managed properly

  • if the property meets their required standards

It's a criminal offence to rent out a home to 3 or more unrelated people without an HMO licence. You could be fined up to £50,000 if you do.

For further information read HMOs.

It's not compulsory to become accredited. Whilst landlords must be registered in Scotland, landlords can decide whether to become accredited.

To become an accredited landlord you must first be registered with all relevant local authorities, be managing the property yourself or have engaged the services of an accredited letting agent. You can find an application form on the Landlord Accreditation Scotland website.

If you become accredited, this may improve your credibility as a landlord and make tenants more likely to want to rent your property instead of non-accredited ones.

You may need to inform your mortgage provider or insurers that you want to rent your property out. The terms of your mortgage or insurance may change if you rent out your home.

Your mortgage may have terms and conditions that stop you from renting your home out to anyone, so if you do this without permission you may be breaking the terms of your mortgage. 

When you rent out your home to tenants it may impact your existing buildings and contents insurance.

You should discuss the situation with your insurers and let them know you plan to have tenants move into your home.

If you collect a tenancy deposit, it must be lodged with one of the government backed third party schemes. The scheme protects your tenant's deposit until it's due to be repaid. There are three schemes you can register with:

You have to do this within 30 working days of the tenancy starting.

You should also tell your tenant which Tenancy Deposit Scheme their deposit is in and the other information you are required by law to provide. This will help sort out any disputes when the tenancy ends.

For further information read Prescribed information for tenancy deposits in Scotland.

If you use this private residential tenancy contract you will also need to provide your tenant with a copy of 'Private Residential Tenancy Statutory Terms Supporting Notes'.

You may also want to provide the tenant with a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate and the Gas Safety Certificate.

Yes - The law is clear that if you are a landlord and rent out your property (or even a room within your own home) then you have legal responsibilities to ensure the health and safety of your tenant by keeping the property safe and free from health hazards.

Ask a lawyer for:

  • advice if you're unsure of your responsibilities as a landlord

  • advice if the document doesn't meet your needs or cover what you want

  • advice if you wish to evict the tenant

This Private residential tenancy for a house is governed by the laws of Scotland.

Other names for Private residential tenancy for a house

Private residential tenancy agreement, Private residential tenancy contract.

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