The Tenancy Agreement

The tenancy agreement is a legally binding document detailing both the landlord and tenant responsibilities. While most existing tenancies are Short Assured Tenancies, as of the 1st December 2017, all new agreeements will be Private Residential Tenancies.

Private Residential Tenancies

The purpuose of the new Private Residential Tenancy (PRT) is to improve security for the Tenant and provide safeguards for landlrods, lenders and investors.  The tenancy is open ended and will last until you wish to leave the let property or your landlord uses one (or more) of the 18 grounds for eviction.

Improvements for tenant include:

  • More security - its an open-ended tenancy so your landlord can't just ask you to leave because you've been in the property for a set length of time.
  • Protection from frequent rent increases - your rent can't go up more than once a year and you must get at least three months' notice of any increase.
  • Any rent inrcrease can be referred to a rent officer, who can decide if they're fair.
  • If you've lived in a property for more than six months, landlords have to give 84 days' notice to leave (unless it's because you've done something wrong).
  • If you think you were misled into moving out, you can now apply to the First-tier Tribunal for a 'wrongful termination order'.  If the Tribunal gives the order it can award up to six months' rent in compensation.
  • Local authorities can apply to Scottish Ministers to cap the level of rent increases in areas where rents are rising too much.

Further information can be found on the Scottish Government website.

Short Assured Tenancies

A 'Short Assured Tenancy', is a special form of assured tenancy which, in the first instance, must be for no less than 6 months.  A short sssured tenancy gives the landlord special rights to repossess the property and gives the tenant special rights to apply to a rent assessment committee for a rent determination.

In order for a tenancy to be short assured the landlord must serve an AT5 Notice in terms of Section 32 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988.  This notice must be served prior to the creation of a tenancy agreement.  If this notice is not served at all or is served after the tenancy or lease agreement has been signed, the tenancy cannot be short assured.

The Process

Margaret Duffus Leasing will normally sign the lease documents on behalf of the Landlord.

When the tenants is a company, Margaret Duffus Leasing has a standard company lease, but some larger companies will use a preferred style of lease. A company does not have the same legal standing as a private individual so this lease is not subject to the same statute law.

Both landlords and tenants are advised to get independent legal advice before agreeing to any lease.

Tenant Obligations

You should familiarise yourself with your obligations under the terms of the lease, but some key points have been listed below.

  • You should be informed if the property will be managed by Margaret Duffus Leasing or the landlord directly.  Make sure you keep our/their contact number handy and store it in your phone.
  • All repairs or maintenance issues should be reported as soon as possible.  Failure to report issues that cause damage that could have been prevented will be chargeable to you. You will be responsible for normal day to day running repairs such as changing light bulbs.  You will be liable for any blockages if pipes are obstructed by household waste.
  • You should check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on a regular basis and change the batteries when required.
  • Where Margaret Duffus Leasing manage the property repairs will be arranged as appropriate.  It may not always be possible to guarantee same day response, but urgent and emergency repairs will be treated with the utmost priority. Once Margaret Duffus Leasing have instructed a contractor it is not always possible or practical to track every job so please notify us if they haven’t been in touch to arrange an appointment within 3-5 days.  Where you are not available to give a contractor access during normal working hours they will pick up keys from our office on an agreed date.     
  • You are obliged to pay the rent regularly in advance by standing order.  You must inform Margaret Duffus Leasing or the landlord in good time if you are having any problems with payments.  Where there are several unrelated Tenants in a property you must remember that you are joint and severally liable for the full rent so you are all equally responsible for the full rental.
  • You are responsible for insuring your own belongings.  Its recommended that you get accidental damage cover under a Tenants insurance policy as this may help protect your deposit.
  • Smoking is not permitted under Margaret Duffus Leasing tenancy agreements.
  • Pets are not permitted under Margaret Duffus Leasing leases unless agreed in advance.  Permission is on the provision that all soft furnishings are professionally cleaned at the termination of the Lease.  You may be asked to supply invoices as confirmation that the work has been carried out.  In the case of a pet dog, you would also be responsible for ensuring the garden is always free of dog mess, especially where the garden is maintained by a gardening firm and for any damage the dog may cause to the garden.
  • You must not undertake any redecoration work or alter the property without prior written agreement.
  • You will responsible for the garden maintenance unless otherwise agreed.  This will include, but is not exclusive to grass cutting, weeding, keeping paths, steps and driveways clear, sweeping up leaves, pruning and hedge cutting.  Items such as trampolines can cause damage to grass areas so please note these should be moved regularly to avoid potential charges at the end of the lease.