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New laws for Scottish renters gives more security

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Major changes to Scottish law came into effect on Friday (1st December) that have been described as a "new dawn" for private renters by Shelter Scotland.

Anyone signing a tenancy from 1 December will be covered by the new rules reports The BBC. The legislation is seen as a positive step for Scotland's 760,000 private renters and some of the key features mean: 

  • an end to fixed-term rentals, so leases will effectively be open-ended;
  • rent increases are only allowed to be made once every 12 months;
  • tenants who believe a rent increase is unfair can challenge it and take it to a rent officer;
  • longer notice periods will be required. Tenants who have been in a property over six months will receive at least 84 days notice to leave, unless they are at fault. 

Security for tenants

As we reported nearly a year ago, many families in the private rental sector feel insecure on shorter tenancies. This new legislation means that for tenants in Scotland, they will have indefinite security of tenure, meaning "no-fault" evictions will no longer be possible.

Graeme Brown from Shelter Scotland said: "These new laws bring unprecedented security of tenure to private renters, with landlords now needing a good reason to evict tenants.

"We have campaigned passionately for 10 years now for reform of private renting in Scotland, ending with our Make Renting Right campaign, which had extensive support from the public and local and national politicians."

The new law does allow landlords to ask tenants to leave on a number of grounds, including if they intend to live there themselves or wanting to sell or refurbish the property.