What could the New Tenancy for the Private Rented Sector (PRS) mean?
The Scottish Government has just finished consultation on its plans for the Private Rented Sector (PRS). These include simplifying possession rights and introducing roll-over for tenancy agreements.
According to the Scottish Government, the new system would “strike a fair balance between the interests of tenants and landlords, and support a professionally run sector, managed for the long-term benefit of landlords, lenders, and tenants.”
In terms of improving tenants’ security of tenure, the new system would see the 'no-fault' ground for repossession removed, landlords offering a minimum tenancy of six months and a Notice to Quit based on how long tenants have lived in the property. Currently the notice is 28 to 40 days, but under the new proposals those who have lived in the property for over two years would be entitled to 12 weeks’ notice. For tenants, this would improve security. At the moment, ‘no-fault’ repossession means landlords can reclaim possession because the fixed term has ended. For longer term renters, there will be a longer period of notice – up to 16 weeks for those who have rented a property for more than five years.
Safeguards are proposed for landlords, lenders and investors under the Scottish Government plans.
It is interesting to note that while there are plans to increase the duration of a Notice to Quit if property is being repossessed because the tenant has failed to pay rent for three months, are anti-social or otherwise have breached the tenancy agreement, landlords will be able to give 28 days' Notice to Quit regardless of how long the tenant has occupied the property.
This will be a significant change in PRS if effected.
With the consultation having closed on 10 May, we await hearing if the changes are set to go ahead. The Scottish Government aims to issue a report by the start of August.