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Guide To Renting In Scotland

Guide-To-Renting-In-Scotland Guide To Renting Scotland

In Scotland there are many different ways you can rent a property. It doesn’t matter whether it is from a private landlord, sharing with your landlord, or council/housing association you will have rights. If you rent you will have a tenancy. There are several different types of tenancy and the rights you have will depend on what type of tenancy you have. Your rights will begin as soon as you sign the tenancy agreement and will protect you even if the tenancy comes to an end.

If you rent from a private landlord then you will probably have either a short assured tenancy or an assured tenancy. The difference between both of these is that a short assured tenancy is a tenancy that started after the 2nd January 1989, you received an AT5 form before the tenancy started telling you that it is a short assured tenancy and your tenancy is for at least six months. The new private residential tenancy came into force of 1st December 2017 and replaced assured and short assured tenancy agreements.

Now that we have established what kind of tenancy you have and what your responsibilities are as a private tenant while you are living there, what would happen if you were renting and the relationship with your partner or your flatmate breaks down and you need to leave the property.

If you are married or civil partners and the relationship breaks down

If you have separated after being in a marriage or civil partnership then you have the right to stay in your home until either you divorce/dissolve your civil partnership or your tenancy ends.

If your partner leaves - If your partner leaves then you have the right to stay in the home even if your name isn’t enough on the tenancy agreement. If your ex partners name is on the tenancy then you will need to speak to the landlord so that they know not to end the tenancy while you are still living in the property. If the landlord wants you to leave then they will need to go through the official procedure outlined above.

Ending the tenancy - If your ex-partner wants to end the tenancy then they will need your written permission to end the tenancy.

If your ex-partner wants you to leave - If your ex-partner wants you to leave the property then they will need a court order to do this. If they try and force you to leave the property then this is an illegal eviction and you can report them to the police.

What happens with your home as part of your divorce/dissolution.

What happens to your home after your divorce/dissolution may be a difficult decision to come too. You and your ex-partner may have different ideas about what should happen with your tenancy agreement.

In your name - If the tenancy is in your name you can ask your landlord to sign it over to your ex-partner. If your landlord doesn’t agree to this then you could ask the court for the tenancy to be transferred.

Joint tenancy agreement - If you are both of the tenancy agreement and one of you want to stay then you can ask the landlord if they’d let you take over the tenancy. You may need to complete another credit check too prove you can afford to pay the rent on your own.

Tenancy is in your ex-partners name - If the tenancy isn’t in your name then you don’t have the right to stay in the property after your divorce/dissolution, unless a court orders the tenancy to transfer from your ex-partners name to yours.

If you live together

If you are living in a joint tenancy for example with friends then your options are slightly different compared with if you lived with a partner. If you are living with friends and you want to leave the tenancy then by giving your notice in writing to your landlord will bring your tenancy to an end but not the tenancy agreements of the other occupants. Under the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 if only one tenant give notice then that cannot bring the Private Residential Tenancy to an end. There are four options for people who want to give their notice to the landlord but live with friends.

Vary the terms - The landlord, may agree to vary the terms of the tenancy agreement and grant a new agreement to the people who are remaining in the property. This should include their new rent if they have to cover your rent when you leave.

Agreement between the tenants - The remaining tenants come to an agreement and decide to manage the rental between them. This however means that the tenant who wishes to leave would not technically be ending their agreement and would remain liable for rent if there was a non-payment and would be liable for any damage to the property.

Assign a new tenant - The landlord could agree in some circumstances to assign a new tenant to the property. This of course could only go ahead with the permission of the other tenants. This could be the most sensible option out of the four but the new tenant would have to sign a new tenancy agreement with the new tenants name and how much rent each of you will pay. The person who is leaving the property will have to assign their share of the tenancy to the new tenant. 

All give notice - The final option is that all tenants give notice. This would allow all tenants to leave the property.

Contacting a lawyer

In some cases you might need to contact a layer. It is crucial to choose someone who has experience with rental cases to represent you.

At Jones Whyte, we have a  dedicated team of lawyers who all have a good understanding of what you are going through. They can gather all relevant information and evidence about your tenancy and focus on ensuring that you get the best possible outcome for you.

Every case is completely individual so to discuss your circumstances please contact our team today.

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