Types of tenancy agreement
Regardless of the type of tenancy agreement in place, both tenant and landlord have rights and responsibilities. Examples include the amount of notice your landlord has to provide if they want you to move out and at what point they’re allowed to increase your rent. The specifics of your rights and responsibilities depend on the type of tenancy agreement.
On 1 December 2017, the law covering residential tenancies in Scotland changed. A new type of tenancy called a ‘private residential tenancy’ was introduced, replacing assured and short assured tenancies. Any tenancy that started on or after 1 December 2017 is a private residential tenancy.
If you are an assured or short assured tenant whose tenancy began before 1 December 2017, you’re not covered by the new rules. Instead, your rights will be covered by the law relating to assured or short assured tenancies.
Right to notification before landlord entry
You have the right to live in your accommodation and to stop other people from entering it without your permission. If your landlord wants to visit the property, they must notify you in advance. Your Tenancy agreement might tell you how much notice they’ve to give you. In most cases, this will be at least 48 hours’ notice.
Right to a reasonable state of repair
Your landlord has a responsibility to keep the outside of the property in good condition so that it’s wind- and water-tight. The house or flat must be reasonably fit to live in. This means that it should have basic amenities that make it habitable such as an indoor toilet and a reasonable water supply. The equipment that supplies gas, water and electricity should be kept in good condition. Fixtures and fittings like carpets and light fittings must be in a reasonable state of repair. Appliances like the fridge and oven must also be in good working order.
Right to gas and fire safety
Your landlord must have a valid gas safety certificate from a Gas Safe Register engineer for all gas appliances in the property. They must make sure fire detection equipment such as smoke alarms are installed and that there are no fire safety hazards such as loose or dangerous wiring. If the property is furnished, all furniture must be fire-resistant.
Your landlord will have additional obligations if the property is a House in Multiple Occupancy (HMO). An HMO is any property shared by three or more tenants who are not related. If this is the case, they will have to make sure that there are adequate means of escape from fire. They will also have to put in place extra fire precautions such as fire extinguishers, doors and blankets.
Depending on the type of tenancy agreement you have, you may also be entitled to notice about rent increases, succession (where a relative can take over the tenancy if you die) and the right not to be discriminated against. Ask a lawyer if you are unsure about your type of tenancy.