Housing campaigners have named it “a new dawn for renters” as a new rules protecting tenants rights come into force within Scotland.
Starting this month, should anyone wish to let a property privately – they will sign a ‘private residential tenancy’. This includes hugely improved security measures in comparison to anyone renting within England.
The new type of tenancy gives tenants the option of longer notice periods and indefinite security of tenure – putting a stop to ‘no-fault’ evictions and reducing the likeliness of rent increases under 12 months.
There is a new specialist tribunal whereby disputes between landlords and tenants will be heard, as well as a requirement for letting agents to register and comply with a code of practise.
Graeme Brown, the director of Shelter Scotland, welcomed the changes.
“Today represents a new dawn for all private renters in Scotland. These new laws bring unprecedented security of tenure to private renters, with landlords now needing a good reason to evict tenants.”
He confirmed that Shelter Scotland have been working in conjunction with the Scottish government, organising a campaign to ensure that anyone holding a relation to private renting – whether that be tenant or landlord, understands fully all of their rights and responsibilities.
The private renting sector percentage within Scotland has increased by over a third in the last two decades, making up a total of 15% of homes across the country.
It was found that within England that the private rented sector had almost doubled since 2002, from 10% to 19% by English Housing Survey. The social rented sector had nearly halved, from 31% of all households in 1980, to 17% in 2014-15.
Craig Paterson of Living Rent, Scotland’s tenants’ union, described the changes as “an important first step”, but called on the Scottish government to consider implementing a “winter break” from evictions.
In France, trêve hivernale prevents landlords evicting tenants from 1 November to 31 March, reducing homelessness during winter.
Will England take note of the changes within Scotland and bring in a similar system to provide further protection to both tenant and landlord?
Reference: The Guardian