What does an assured tenancy mean in Scotland?

April 1, 2019

What does an assured tenancy mean in Scotland?

Continuing from our previous post, we now look at the types of assured tenancy agreements that apply in Scotland.

Most tenancies in Scotland are either short assured, regulated or assured tenancies. There are different rights and responsibilities that apply to both landlord and tenant depending on the type of assured tenancy in place.

Short assured tenancies

The majority of residential lettings in Scotland made after 2nd January 1989 are short assured tenancies. For landlords, it is easier to get a property back under a short assured tenancy than it is if it’s subject to an assured tenancy.

Under a short assured tenancy, a landlord has an automatic right to regain possession of a property at any time after the fixed term of the tenancy agreement has expired, provided sufficient notice is given to the tenant.

Before an agreement is signed, landlords need to serve a statutory form known as an AT5 on a tenant to let them know that their tenancy will be a short assured tenancy. If they fail to do this, then the tenancy automatically becomes an assured tenancy.

Initially, a short assured tenancy must be for a period of six months or more. On completion of the first six months, the tenancy can be renewed for a shorter time.

Regulated tenancies

A tenancy agreement made before 2nd January 1989 is likely to be a regulated tenancy. This means the tenant has security of tenure and is in a more favourable position when it comes to rent assessment.

Now, you cannot create a new regulated tenancy, but some still exist – any tenancies made after 2nd January 1989 are generally either an assured tenancy or a short assured tenancy.

Under regulated tenancies, either landlord or tenant can ask Rent Services Scotland to set ‘fair rent’ by completing an RR1 form and sending it to Rent Services Scotland.

Assured tenancies

At the beginning of an assured tenancy, it will be classed as a ‘contractual assured tenancy’ for a fixed period of time. The tenancy automatically becomes a ‘statutory assured tenancy’ if:
• The landlord ends the tenancy by issuing a notice to quit (e.g. because they want to change the agreement) and the tenant remains in the property
• The fixed period covered by the tenancy comes to an end and the tenant remains in the property.

In Scotland, an assured tenant may rent from a private landlord, or a letting agency and their rights come from both the law and conditions of their tenancy agreement. The agreement will state the length of the tenancy and automatically renew itself for the same period of time – unless it is for more than one year, in which case the tenancy will renew itself for just one year.

A landlord can’t ask an assured tenant to leave just because the tenancy has reached its end date – there need to be specific grounds. Assured tenancy agreements continue unless both landlord and tenant agree to end the tenancy; the tenant serves notice; the tenant has broken the conditions of the agreement, or the landlord takes action to evict.

To find out about different types of tenancy agreements in England and Wales read our earlier post on What does an Assured Tenancy mean in England and Wales?

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