Legal

What's here?

This section has the boring but important stuff about:

- Agreement for the use of the internet service in your property

- different types of lease contract

- form AT5

- the statutory Tenant Information Pack which is provided by the Scottish Government

- the Schedules referred to in your lease

      - Schedule Part 1 - Grounds on which a Sheriff must order possession and Grounds on whch a Sheriff may order possession

      - Schedule Part 2 - Responsibilities of Tenant and Landlord including the Repairing Standards

 

Internet use agreement

 

INTRODUCTION

Middlerig Properties will make available to subscribing tenants use of the network in the property in return for the undertakings by the subscribing tenant contained in this agreement.

This agreement regulates the use of the network in the above property by subscribing tenants, the services provided by Middlerig Properties, and the payments to be made.

 

USE OF THE SYSTEM AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF SUBSCRIBING TENANTS

Subscribing tenants are allowed to use the system on the following conditions.

 

Provision of own computer: each subscriber must provide their own computer for use in connecting to the network.  In order to assure the safety and integrity of the network, suitable antivirus and firewall software must be installed on each connecting computer. Any inability of the computer to connect to the network is the responsibility of the subscribing tenant.

 

Legal use: each subscriber is legally  responsible for their use of the system; they must comply with all relevant legislation, including:

-          Data Protection Act 1998

-          Copyright  and Misuse of Patents Act 1988

-          Computer Misuse Act 1990

 

Considerate use: the subscribing tenant is aware that this is a communal system whose use is shared with other subscribing tenants; use of the system must not be to the detriment of other subscribing tenants. In particular, the use of open file sharing programs, video conferencing and open web cams  is strictly prohibited.

 

System use: System use must be in accordance with Virgin Media’s Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)  at http://allyours.virginmedia.com/html/legal/oncable/acceptableuse.html.  In the AUP  the Customer is deemed to be the subscribing tenant.

 

Safeguarding access: the subscribing tenant will safeguard system access passwords and not make them available to any third parties

 

Reporting problems:  the subscribing tenant will promptly report any problems with the operation or use of the network to Middlerig Properties.

 

Liabilities: The subscribing tenant will be solely responsible for any claims brought against them, and hereby indemnify Middlerig Properties and its suppliers and agents against any claims against them arising from misuse of the system by the subscribing tenant.

 

RESPONSIBILITIES OF MIDDLERIG PROPERTIES

Middlerig Properties is responsible for providing the following to subscribing tenants.

Provision of a working system: Middlerig Properties will provide the hardware and software and make suitable arrangements with an internet service provider in order to provide a working network system and connection to the internet. Service may be delivered over either a wireless or an Ethernet over mains systems, or both.

 

Liabilities: Middlerig Properties will use reasonable endeavours to provide a working system, but is not liable for any loss or damage caused to the subscribing tenant or their equipment arising from use of the system. Middlerig Properties is not responsible for any losses arising out of the tenant’s use of the system, or tenant’s losses consequent upon non availability of the system.

 

Use of agents: Middlerig Properties reserves the right to use agents to carry out its functions under this agreement.

 

PAYMENTS

Subscribing tenants will be liable for the following payments to Middlerig Properties:

 Monthly service charge:   included in monthly rent

  

TERMINATION

This agreement may be terminated by either party on giving one month’s notice.

Further, the agreement will be deemed to be terminated if the subscribing tenant ceases for any reason to be a tenant in the property.

Middlerig Properties may terminate this agreement forthwith and at its sole discretion if there is actual or suspected misuse of the system by the subscribing tenant.

 

ACCEPTANCE

The Tenant will be invited to sign an acceptance of these conditions on entry to the Property.

 

 

 

Types of lease contract

You will have one of the following forms of contract:

A holiday let which is for a period of up to a few months and runs between fixed dates; it is usually in the form of a simple contract letter

A short assured tenancy for a whole property (single occupancy), which allows you the use of the whole property for the period of the lease, which is usually for a minimum of six months and continues on a month to month basis after that until either of us gives notice.  A short assured lease has to be issued with a form AT5 (see below) and the Tenant Information Pack (see below) and refers to the Schedules (see below) and the Repairing Standards (see below).

A short assured tenancy for a shared property (HMO), which allows you the sole use of a lockable room in the property and the use in common with the other residents of the communal facilities. The lease is usually for a minimum of six months and continues on a month to month basis after that until either of us gives notice.  A short assured lease has to be issued with a form AT5 (see below) and the Tenant Information Pack (see below) and refers to the Schedules (see below) and the Repairing Standards (see below).

 

Form AT5

Form AT5 is a legal notice that we are obliged to issue with a short assured tenancy, otherwise the lease is not legal.  The AT5 warns you that you are entering into a short assured tenancy - you do not need to do anything with it. 

 

The Tenant Information Pack

Contents

Acknowledgement form

Tenant Information Pack for the Private Rented Sector

1 Your tenancy
1.1 Short assured tenancy
1.2 Assured tenancy
1.3 Tenancy agreement
1.4 Ending your tenancy
1.5 Grounds for landlords regaining possession of their property

2 Information about the property
2.1 Gas safety
2.2 Electrical safety
2.3 Energy Performance Certificate
2.4 Council Tax
2.5 Number of people who may live at the property
2.6 Repairing Standard
2.7 Inventories
2.8 Fire safety

3 Information about your landlord
3.1 Landlord registration
3.2 House in multiple occupation (HMO) licensing

4 Responsibilities of tenants and landlords
4.1 Tenant's main responsibilities
4.2 Landlord's main responsibilities
4.3 Role of letting agents
4.4 Harassment and unlawful eviction
4.5 Tenancy deposit schemes
4.6 Antisocial behaviour - tenant and landlord obligations

5 Further advice and support

 

 

Acknowledgement form

                       

Tenant Information Pack for the Private Rented Sector

What is the Tenant Information Pack?

  • The pack gives information to tenants in privately rented housing. It talks about your home, tenancy and landlord, and the responsibilities of you and your landlord.
  • The pack is not part of your tenancy agreement but sets out important information that is relevant to you and your landlord. The pack contains a summary of legislation relevant to private tenants.  Should you want more detailed legal information, or opinion, you should seek specialist advice.

Why is the pack important?

  • The pack gives you clear information about      private renting.
  • The pack ensures that all tenants in privately      rented homes receive the same information.

How does the pack work?

  • If you sign an assured or short assured tenancy, your landlord has a legal duty to give you a Tenant Information Pack, under section 30A of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988. Your landlord must do this by your tenancy start date.
  • If a letting agent manages your tenancy you should still receive a pack.
  • At least one pack should be provided for each tenancy agreement. Where there are joint tenants they can be asked to accept one pack between them.
  • The pack must be signed and receipted by you and your landlord (unless it is sent or acknowledged by email).
  • If the landlord does not provide the pack, they can be fined up to £500. If you have not received a pack, you should report this to your local council's housing department.

Other useful information

You can view the Tenant Information Pack online at www.scotland.gov.uk/tenant/info

The pack contains web links to further information. If required, this information can be provided in hard copy. To request any additional information call the Scottish Government's Private Rented Sector Policy team on 08457 741 741 or 0131 556 8400.

Copies of the Tenant Information Pack are available in other formats and translations. Please call 08457 741 741 or 0131 556 8400, or email ceu@scotland.gsi.gov.uk, for more information.

Private Rented Sector Policy team,
Scottish Government




 

1 Your tenancy

Your rights in privately rented housing depend on the type of tenancy agreement you have with your landlord. The following information provides a broad set of rules for the most common tenancies - assured and short assured tenancies. If there is any doubt, you should get legal advice to be certain of the type of agreement you have signed or are being asked to sign.

1.1 Short assured tenancy

The most common type of agreement in the private sector is a short assured tenancy, which has been available since 2 January 1989. Your landlord must give you a special form (called an AT5 form) before you sign your tenancy agreement or move in. The form states it is a short assured tenancy. The initial let must be for at least six months otherwise it is not a short assured tenancy. After the initial let period your landlord has the right to reclaim possession of the property. However, short assured tenancies could be for longer, so you may want to discuss this with your landlord to see whether both parties would like a longer period of let.

You can see a sample AT5 form at: www.scotland.gov.uk/tenant/info/forms

Joint tenancies

If you and your flatmates or housemates have a joint tenancy agreement, you will all have exactly the same rights and responsibilities. This means you are all equally responsible for paying the rent and keeping to the terms of your tenancy agreement.

If you want to end the tenancy, you will need to get the other joint tenants' permission first, because this will end the tenancy for everyone. However, if the other tenants do not want to move out, they can try to negotiate a new agreement with the landlord.

1.2 Assured tenancy

If you rent your property from a private landlord or letting agent, you will probably have an assured tenancy if:

  • your tenancy started after 2 January 1989, and     
  • before the tenancy started, you were not      given an AT5 form stating that it was to be a short assured tenancy, and
  • the place where you live is rented as a home,      and
  • it is your only or main home.

An assured tenancy gives you greater security of tenure than a short assured tenancy. This means that it is more difficult for your landlord to require you to leave. If you would like further advice and assistance on assured tenancies, contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau or Shelter Scotland (see section 5 - further advice and support).

1.3 Tenancy agreement

The tenancy agreement must be a written document. Its terms should be agreed between you and the landlord or letting agent before you sign it.

You can see an example of a model tenancy agreement, created by the City of Edinburgh Council, at www.scotland.gov.uk/tenant/info/forms. Your landlord may, however, provide their own style of tenancy agreement, which may still be legally binding. Where there is any doubt you should seek legal advice.

In general, your tenancy agreement will include the following:

  • The name and address of the landlord or agent (or both).
  • The landlord's registration number.
  • The length of the tenancy, with start and end dates.
  • Rent: amount due, when it is due, how it should be paid and if it will increase during the tenancy.
  • How much is the deposit and possibly which tenancy deposit scheme (see section 4.5) will hold the deposit.
  • Who is responsible for internal decoration and internal and external repairs and maintenance.
  • How many tenants may occupy the property.
  • Any condition or restrictions on the use of the property, for example about pets, guests or smoking.

1.4 Ending your tenancy

If you have a short assured tenancy your tenancy agreement will state how long you will be renting the property. At the end of that time, your tenancy will automatically renew itself unless:

  • your landlord gives you written notice that they want you to leave the property;
  • you give your landlord written notice that you want to leave at the end of the fixed term; or
  • your tenancy agreement states what will happen at the end of the initial fixed term.

If you have an assured tenancy your tenancy agreement may or may not state how long you will be renting the property. If a time period is stated, during this period it will be a "contractual assured tenancy" and your original tenancy agreement may set out how and why your landlord can require you to leave the property. If you continue to live in the property after your original tenancy agreement ends, and if you do not sign a new tenancy agreement with the landlord, your contractual tenancy will be converted into a "statutory assured tenancy" with no fixed end date.

If you want to leave

If you have a short assured tenancy it is important to consider the following:

Ending the tenancy at the end of the fixed term: if you want to leave when the fixed term ends, you should give your landlord written notice. Your tenancy agreement should state how much notice you need to give.

Ending the tenancy before the fixed term ends: your tenancy agreement should say whether or not you can end your tenancy before the fixed term ends, and how much notice you need to give. If your tenancy agreement does not mention this, you may find your landlord can still charge you rent until the fixed term ends, even if you need to move out before this.

If you have an assured tenancy your tenancy agreement should state how much notice you need to give if you wish to leave the property. You must provide your landlord with written notice if you wish to leave.

When your landlord wants you to leave

If you have a short assured tenancy your landlord can give you notice in writing at least two months before the end of the initial fixed term or at any time afterwards that they want possession of the property. They can serve notices during the tenancy to coincide with the agreed termination date. If you do not vacate the property at this time, your landlord can start legal action against you.

To gain possession at the end of a short assured tenancy, your landlord must serve you with a written Notice to Quit and either a Section 33 Notice or an AT6 Notice depending on why they want you to leave. These forms can be viewed at www.scotland.gov.uk/tenant/info/forms.

With an assured tenancy, however, you have greater security of tenure. As highlighted at the start of this section, your tenancy may have no fixed end date. In this situation your landlord must apply for a court order requiring you to leave on the grounds mentioned in section 1.5 below. You cannot be required to leave if none of those grounds apply.

Breach of tenancy

If you breach any terms of the tenancy, your landlord can seek possession using the grounds for regaining possession (see section 1.5).

If you receive a Notice to Quit or AT6 Notice, do not ignore it. If you would like further advice and assistance on this, contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau or your local council's housing office.

1.5 Grounds for landlords regaining possession of their property

There are 17 grounds a private landlord can use to evict an assured or short assured tenant. Grounds 1-8 are mandatory grounds: that is, if they are proved, a Sheriff must grant an order for possession. Grounds 9-17 are discretionary grounds: that is, even if they are proved, a Sheriff will grant a possession order only if they believe it is reasonable to do so. In summary, the grounds are:

Mandatory grounds

  • (1) The landlord wants the property to be their own home or the property was previously their own home.
  • (2) A lender has repossessed the landlord’s property due to mortgage arrears and wants to sell it.
  • (3) Off-season holiday let (i.e. the property is normally rented out as a holiday home).
  • (4) Short leases (less than 12 months) between lets to students.
  • (5) The property is needed by a minister or full-time lay missionary.
  • (6) The landlord intends to carry out major work on the property.
  • (7) The tenant has died and the landlord starts the eviction process within 12 months of the death.
  • (8) The tenant has three months' rent arrears. This is a mandatory ground, however, Sheriffs may apply discretion where the rent arrears have been caused by a delay in paying housing benefit.

Discretionary grounds

  • (9)   Suitable alternative accommodation is available to the tenant.
  • (10) The tenant was served a Notice to Quit but did not leave.
  • (11)  Persistent delay in paying rent.
  • (12) Some rent is unpaid.
  • (13) Breach of the tenancy agreement.
  • (14) The tenant has allowed or caused damage to the property or the building's  common parts.
  • (15) The tenant has used the property for illegal purposes or has caused a nuisance or annoyance to neighbours.
  • (16) Damage to the landlord's furniture.
  • (17) The property was let to the tenant because of their job and they no longer have this job.
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2 Information about your property

Your landlord must make sure the property is safe. The electricity supply, plumbing, water and heating systems should all be in good condition. If you have any concerns about the safety of any item in the property, you should speak with the landlord. It is important that you do not move into the property until the landlord has dealt properly with your concerns.

2.1 Gas safety

If your property has a gas supply, your landlord must arrange for an annual Landlord Gas Safety Record to be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer. You should receive a copy of this certificate. If your landlord does not provide you with a safety certificate you can contact the Health and Safety Executive for advice (see section 5 - further advice and support).

If you know that your gas installations or pipework are defective, you must tell your landlord or letting agent. You must never use appliances that are condemned or unsafe.

2.2 Electrical safety

Your landlord, in accordance with the Repairing Standard for private rented properties (see section 2.6), must ensure that the electrical installation and appliances provided with the property are in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order. 

The Electrical Safety Council suggest that the best way for landlords to comply with this is by having a registered electrician carry out an inspection and test of the electrical installation (known as an Electrical Installation Condition Report) and Portable Appliance Testing at suitable intervals.  Speak with your landlord if you have any concerns about electrical safety as they should be able to provide you with information on the latest safety inspection.  Alternatively, advice and guidance is available on the Health and Safety Executive website (see section 5 - further advice and support).

2.3 Energy Performance Certificate

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) shows a property's energy efficiency. It also highlights potential improvements that could save energy. On request, landlords must give prospective tenants (i.e. new tenants, not tenants who are simply renewing a lease) an EPC. However, if you rent only a single room in a larger property, your landlord need not provide an EPC.

When advertising a property for rent, landlords must state its energy efficiency rating.

You can download a sample EPC from the Scottish Government website: www.scotland.gov.uk/tenant/info/forms

2.4 Council Tax

Your tenancy agreement will probably set out who is responsible to paying council tax. If you are unsure your local council should be able to tell you about your responsibilities for council tax and give you information on the current rates. If you have signed a tenancy agreement for a room and not the entire property, check with your landlord if you are responsible for paying council tax.

If the property is occupied entirely by full-time students, you are exempt from council tax.  You must apply to your local council’s Revenues and Benefits department for your exemption. 

2.5 Number of people who may live at the property

Only those allowed to live at a property by the tenancy agreement should occupy it. If too many people live there, meaning it is overcrowded, the council may take steps to prevent the overcrowding continuing.

Houses or flats occupied by three or more unrelated persons are called houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). Your local council will have told your landlord the maximum number of people allowed in an HMO.

How is 'overcrowding' defined?

The number of people who may live in a property depends on the number and size of the rooms, and the characteristics of the people. Living rooms and bedrooms are counted as rooms, but not the kitchen or bathroom. There is a room standard and a space standard.

Room standard

The room standard is broken when people of opposite sexes, who are not living together as a couple, have to sleep in the same room. This does not apply to children under 10.

The number of people of the same sex who can sleep in one room is limited by the size of the room.

Space standard

The space standard limits the number of people who can occupy a property, relative to both the number and the floor area of the rooms available as sleeping accommodation.

You can get more information on overcrowding from a Shelter Scotland advice centre, Citizens Advice or your local council.

2.6 Repairing Standard

Your landlord must carry out a pre-tenancy check of your property to identify work required to meet the Repairing Standard (described below) and notify you of any such work. Your landlord also has a duty to repair and maintain your property from the tenancy start date and throughout the tenancy. This includes a duty to make good any damage caused by doing this work. On becoming aware of a defect, your landlord must complete the work within a reasonable time.

A privately rented property must meet the Repairing Standard as follows:

  • The property must be wind and water tight and in all other respects reasonably fit for people to live in.
  • The structure and exterior (including drains, gutters and external pipes) must be in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order.
  • Installations for supplying water, gas and electricity and for sanitation, space heating and heating water must be in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order.
  • Any fixtures, fittings and appliances that the landlord provides under the tenancy must be in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order.
  • Any furnishings that the landlord provides under the tenancy must be capable of being used safely for the purpose for which they are designed.
  • The property must have a satisfactory way of detecting fires and for giving warning in the event of a fire or suspected fire.

If, after notification of any problem, the problem persists, has not been attended to satisfactorily or if there is disagreement about whether or not there is a problem, then you have the right to refer the matter to the Private Rented Housing Panel (see section 5 - further advice and support). The Private Rented Housing Panel has power to require your landlord to carry out work necessary to meet the Repairing Standard.

Repairs and maintenance - access

You must give your landlord reasonable access to the property to do repairs and maintenance. If you fail to agree a suitable time, your landlord must give you at least 24 hours' written notice that they intend to enter the property unless they need to do an emergency repair.

2.7 Inventories

An inventory is a list of everything in the property that you are renting (for example, furniture, carpets and curtains, kitchenware) and its condition.

An inventory can help avoid a dispute over your deposit when you move out because it proves what state the property was in when you moved in. In particular, it can help if a dispute is lodged with a tenancy deposit scheme (see section 4.5).

It is in your landlord's interest to provide an inventory because if you break or damage anything while you are living there, the inventory shows it was not broken before you moved in. On the other hand, if anything in the property is already damaged, the inventory proves you did not do it.

Your landlord or letting agent should give you an inventory. If they have not done so by the time you move in, ask for one.

In summary, here are the key things you should do:

  • Check the inventory before you sign it - make a note of anything damaged, broken or worn. Make sure everything in the property is listed on the inventory, and that it lists nothing you cannot find in the property.
  • Make sure you and your landlord sign the inventory - once you are sure the inventory is correct, both you and your landlord or letting agent should sign it.
  • Take photos, then you can prove the state of the property when you moved in.
  • Store the inventory and your photos in a place where you can find them in case you need to rely on them to get your deposit back.

2.8 Fire safety

By law, your landlord must provide fire-detection equipment (e.g. a smoke alarm) for your property. You can find out more about fire safety requirements for privately rented properties on the Scottish Government website: www.scotland.gov.uk/tenant/info/forms

Your landlord also has a general duty to keep your property fit for you to live in and to ensure it does not endanger your health. This includes ensuring there are no fire or other hazards in your home, such as loose wiring or dangerous stairs.

If your landlord refuses to provide a fire-detection alarm or you feel there are fire risks in your property, you can take action to make sure they put things right. Either you can apply to the Private Rented Housing Panel (see section 5 - further advice and support ) or contact your local council's environmental health department.

Landlords of HMOs (see section 3.2) must ensure there are adequate fire precautions and escape routes.

The Scottish Government has produced a leaflet on fire safety in the home which is available at: www.scotland.gov.uk/tenant/info/forms

3 Information about your landlord

3.1 Landlord registration

Most private landlords must register with their local council to ensure they are a ‘fit and proper person’ to let property.  Details of any properties let by a landlord and any agent acting on a landlord’s behalf must be notified to the council.  For most landlords it is an offence to let a property without being registered, with a maximum fine of £50,000.

Your landlord's registration number should be included in your tenancy agreement (unless they have only recently applied to register). You can check online at www.landlordregistrationscotland.gov.uk to see if your landlord is registered or you can contact your local council. If your landlord is not registered, contact your local council.

You can find out more about landlord registration on the Scottish Government website: www.scotland.gov.uk/privaterenting

3.2 House in multiple occupation (HMO) licensing

An HMO (house in multiple occupation) is a property occupied by three or more tenants who are not members of the same family (or one or other of two families). HMO landlords must have a licence from the local council. This ensures that the property is managed properly and meets certain basic safety standards. You can find out more about HMOs on the Scottish Government website: www.scotland.gov.uk/privaterenting

To find out whether your property has an HMO licence, ask your landlord or contact your local council. Your council will have a list of all the licensed HMOs in their area.

It is a criminal offence for your landlord to operate an HMO without a licence, and they could be fined up to £50,000. If your local council thinks a property is being run as an unlicensed HMO, they can inspect it without giving any warning. If you think the HMO you are living in may be unlicensed, you should contact your local council.

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Responsibilities of tenants and landlords

This section covers your responsibilities and those of your landlord. Other parts of the pack cover your rights.

4.1 Tenant's main responsibilities

You have certain responsibilities as a tenant. Please read your tenancy agreement for more specific information but the following list of responsibilities will apply to most tenancies.

  • To occupy the property as your main home.
  • To pay your rent in full and on time.
  • To contact your landlord immediately if you are having difficulty paying the rent.
  • Not to cause damage to the property, fixtures, fittings or furniture belonging to the landlord and not to allow members of your household or visitors to do so.
  • To read and comply with your tenancy agreement as regards its policies on smoking in the property, keeping pets etc.
  • Not to make alterations to the property without getting your landlord's written permission first.
  • To report promptly the need for any repairs to the landlord.
  • Not to cause disturbance, nuisance or annoyance to neighbours and not to allow your visitors to do so.
  • To allow the landlord access to the property to inspect it or carry out repairs after giving sufficient notice.
  • To give your landlord written notice when you wish to end the tenancy.
  • To maintain any communal areas if the maintenance is not included in your rent.
  • To put out bins and recycling boxes for collection.

4.2 Landlord's main responsibilities

  • To give you their name and address.
  • To give you a tenancy agreement.
  • To respect your right to peace and quiet in the property.
  • To give proper notice before entering the property.
  • To meet gas, electricity and other safety requirements in the property.
  • To maintain the property's structure and exterior.
  • To follow the correct legal procedures if they want you to leave.
  • To register with their local council.
  • To have an Energy Performance Certificate for the property.
  • To allow adaptations for disabled people, within reason. Your local council may be able to provide support through the 'scheme of assistance'.
  • To ensure the property meets the Repairing Standard.
  • To take action to address any antisocial behaviour by their tenants in and around the property.
  • To register any deposit with an approved tenancy deposit scheme.
  • To give you this Tenant Information Pack.

4.3 Role of letting agents

If a letting agent acts for your landlord, they may be responsible for arranging your tenancy's day-to-day maintenance and repairs, and taking your rent payments. However, your contract is with your landlord. This is why your landlord's name and address must appear on your tenancy agreement.

Any legal action arising from your tenancy (for example, over the return of your deposit) would be raised against your landlord, not the letting agent. Also, your landlord is legally responsible for ensuring that all safety regulations are met.

Tenancy fees

It is against the law for a landlord - or a letting agent acting on their behalf - to charge or receive any premium or require the making of any loan as a condition of granting, renewing or continuing your tenancy. The landlord or their letting agent may charge only rent and a refundable deposit of two months' rent at the most.

The meaning of 'premium' includes any fine or other sum and what the law calls any other 'pecuniary consideration' (e.g. money that has to be paid in the present or in the future). It includes a service or administration fee or charge. It excludes, however, charges connected to the UK Government's Green Deal that are attached to a privately rented property. More information on the Green Deal can be found at www.scotland.gov.uk/tenant/info/forms.

4.4 Harassment and unlawful eviction

If your landlord tries to physically remove you from the property without a court's permission, they are committing a criminal offence regardless of the circumstances. Your landlord must follow the formal legal process set out in section 1 of this pack to recover possession of their property. If you do not leave voluntarily, the landlord must obtain a Decree for Eviction from the Sheriff Court. If the landlord obtains such a decree, the actual eviction must be done by Sheriff Officers, not the landlord or their agents.

If your landlord has physically removed you from your rented home or threatened to do so, you should report the matter to the Police.

As a tenant of a privately rented property, the law protects you against harassment and unlawful eviction in two ways:

  • by making harassment and unlawful eviction criminal offences, and
  • by enabling you to claim damages through the courts.

The law against harassment applies to everyone living in residential property. This means the law protects you whether you have a full tenancy or some other right of occupation or occupancy agreement. It applies if your landlord personally harasses or evicts you unlawfully, or if somebody else does it for them. Related to this, your landlord has no right to use retained keys to enter the property without your permission, except in an emergency.

The Scottish Government booklet 'Protection against Harassment and Unlawful Evictions' (www.scotland.gov.uk/tenant/info/forms) provides full details of private tenants' rights on these matters.

4.5 Tenancy deposit schemes

A tenancy deposit scheme is an independent third-party scheme approved by the Scottish Government to hold and protect your deposit until the landlord needs to repay it at the end of the tenancy.

How do tenancy deposit schemes work?

All landlords who receive a deposit, and who must register in the local council's register of landlords, must comply with the tenancy deposit scheme regulations. Your landlord must give you information on the circumstances in which they may withhold your deposit and give you details of the scheme protecting it.

Once you pay the deposit to your landlord or letting agent, your landlord must give it to an approved deposit scheme to hold in a designated account. Your landlord must ensure the deposit remains with an approved scheme until it is due to be repaid after the end of the tenancy.

You may apply to a Sheriff Court for sanctions against your landlord for failing to comply with the regulations. If the Sheriff decides your landlord has failed to comply, they can order the landlord to pay you up to three times the deposit amount. They may also order that your landlord sends the deposit to an approved scheme or provides the missing information.

How will I get my deposit back at the end of a tenancy?

Your landlord should apply to the scheme for repayment of the deposit after the end of the tenancy, giving details about how much of the deposit should be repaid to you. If this does not happen, you can also apply for repayment.

The scheme will write to you, asking you to say whether you agree with the landlord's application, or whether you wish to dispute the amount. If you agree with the landlord's application, the scheme will repay the deposit accordingly.

If you disagree with the amount of deposit your landlord has applied for, you can ask for the dispute to be referred to an independent adjudicator. Before this can happen, the scheme must be sure you have tried to resolve the dispute with your landlord. The adjudicator will decide how the deposit should be repaid, based on evidence from you and your landlord.

How long will it take to get my deposit back?

If you agree with the landlord's application, the deposit will be repaid in five working days. The return of deposits may take longer if the amount is disputed or if one of the parties cannot be contacted or does not cooperate.

You can read more about tenancy deposit schemes on the Scottish Government website: www.scotland.gov.uk/privaterenting

4.6 Antisocial behaviour - tenant and landlord obligations

Tenants

Everyone has the right to live safely and peacefully without worrying about being annoyed or harassed. Antisocial behaviour means behaviour that causes or is likely to cause fear, alarm or distress. If you act in a way that causes nuisance or annoyance and stops people enjoying the peaceful occupation of their home, this may be considered antisocial behaviour. These actions include, but are not limited to:

  • persistent, excessive noise;
  • verbal or physical abuse of neighbours;
  • racial or sexual harassment;
  • vandalism in the neighbourhood or damaging neighbours' property; or
  • drug abuse or selling drugs.

You are also responsible for the behaviour of family or friends visiting your property. Your landlord may take action against you if you have broken a clause in the tenancy agreement which refers to antisocial behaviour.

If you are affected by other people's antisocial behaviour, you should keep a written record of the incidents, with dates and times. Depending on the seriousness of the situation and how badly it affects you, you should contact the Police or your nearest Citizens Advice Bureau. Your local council's Antisocial Behaviour Team should also be able to give you more information on these issues.

Landlords

Landlords also have a responsibility to prevent their tenants behaving in an antisocial way in and around their homes. This means that if tenants are acting in a way that causes or is likely to cause alarm, distress, nuisance or annoyance to anyone living near their home, the landlord must take action. Steps landlords can take include:

  • investigating complaints about their tenants' behaviour;
  • writing to tenants to explain that their behaviour is causing concern and asking them to modify it;
  • giving advice on noise reduction;
  • asking the council to apply for an Antisocial Behaviour Order for the tenants;
  • going to court to get an interdict to prevent the tenants behaving in a certain way; and
  • threatening to evict the tenants.

If a landlord's attempts fail, they can ask the council for help to address the antisocial behaviour.

However, if a landlord does not try to stop the antisocial behaviour, the local council can serve an Antisocial Behaviour Notice on the landlord ordering them to take specific action to deal with the problem. If the landlord does not do what the Antisocial Behaviour Notice says, the council can ask a court to stop rent payments to the landlord and give the council control of the property.

 

5 Further advice and support

General advice

Citizens Advice Scotland
Gives you details of your local Citizens Advice Bureau which can help with money, legal, consumer and other problems.
Tel: 0808 800 9060
www.cas.org.uk

Energy Saving Trust
Gives independent help and advice on how to save energy in the home.
Tel: 0800 512 012
www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/scotland

Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem)
Protects the interests of gas and electricity consumers.
Tel: 0141 331 2678
www.ofgem.gov.uk

Housing advice

Shelter Scotland
Offers advice, information and advocacy to tenants in privately rented housing.
Tel: 0808 800 4444
http://www.shelterscotland.org

Private Rented Housing Panel
Provides tenants with a way of enforcing the Repairing Standard and, for some tenancies, setting reasonable rents.
Tel: 0141 242 0142
www.prhpscotland.gov.uk

Safety advice

Gas Safe Register
Offers gas safety advice and can take action to ensure that gas appliances in your property are safe.
Tel: 0800 408 5500
www.gassaferegister.co.uk

Health and Safety Executive
Provides a range of health and safety advice.
www.hse.gov.uk/contact

Electrical Safety Council
UK charity that provides electricity safety advice for the home.
Tel: 0131 445 4690
www.esc.org.uk

Landlord and letting agent representatives

Scottish Association of Landlords
Represents the interests of landlords and letting agencies in Scotland.
Tel: 0131 564 0100
www.scottishlandlords.com

Scottish Land and Estates
Represents the interests of rural landlords in Scotland.
Tel: 0131 653 5400
www.scottishlandandestates.co.uk

Landlord Accreditation Scotland
Provides you with information on accommodation which is managed by an accredited landlord.
Tel: 0131 553 2211
www.landlordaccreditationscotland.com

National Landlords Association
An association for private landlords in the UK.
Tel: 020 7840 8900
www.landlords.org.uk

Association of Residential Letting Agents
An association for registered letting agents.
Tel: 0844 387 0555
www.arla.co.uk

 

 

Schedules to your short assured lease

Schedule Part 1 

                                                                         

                                                                     Part One

 Housing (Scotland) Act 1988 SCH.5

                                                                        Part I

                        GROUNDS ON WHICH THE SHERIFF MUST ORDER POSSESSION

 

                                                                     Ground 1

 Not later than the beginning of the tenancy the landlord (or, where there are joint landlords, any of them) gave notice in writing to the tenant that possession might be recovered on this Ground or the sheriff is of the opinion that it is reasonable to dispense with the requirement of notice and (in either case)-

(a)at any time before the beginning of the tenancy, the landlord who is seeking possession or, in the case of joint landlords seeking possession, at least one of them occupied the house as his only or principal home; or

(b)the landlord who is seeking possession or, in the case of joint landlords seeking possession, at least one of them requires the house as his or his spouse's only or principal home, and neither the landlord (or, in the case of the joint landlords, any one of them) nor any other person who, as landlord, derived title from the landlord who gave the notice mentioned above acquired the landlord's interest in the tenancy for value.

 

                                                                     Ground 2

 The house is subject to a heritable security granted before the creation of the tenancy and-

(a)as a result of a default by the debtor the creditor is entitled to sell the house and requires it for the purpose of disposing of it with vacant possession in exercise of that entitlement; and

 (b)either notice was given in writing to the tenant not later than the date of commencement of the tenancy that possession might be recovered on this Ground or the sheriff is satisfied that it is reasonable to dispense with the requirement of notice.

 

                                                                     Ground 3

 The house is let under a tenancy for a specified period not exceeding eight months and-

 (a)not later than the date of commencement of the tenancy the landlord (or, where there are joint landlords, any of them) gave notice in writing to the tenant that possession might be recovered under this Ground; and

 (b)the house was, at some time within the period of 12 months ending on that date, occupied under a right to occupy it for a holiday;

 and for the purposes of this Ground a tenancy shall be treated as being for a specified period-

 (i)not exceeding eight months, if it is determinable at the option of the landlord (other than in the event of an irritancy being incurred) before the expiration of eight months from the commencement of the period of the tenancy; and

(ii)exceeding eight months, if it confers on the tenant an option for renewal of the tenancy for a period which, together with the original period, exceeds eight months, and it is not determinable as mentioned in paragraph (i) above.

 

                                                                     Ground 4

 Where the house is let under a tenancy for a specified period not exceeding 12 months and-

 (a)not later than the date of commencement of the tenancy the landlord (or, where there are joint landlords, any of them) gave notice in writing to the tenant that possession might be recovered on this Ground; and

(b)at some time within the period of 12 months ending on that date the house was subject to such a tenancy as is referred to in paragraph 7(1) of Schedule 4 to this Act;

 (i)not exceeding 12 months, if it is determinable at the option of the landlord (other than in the event of an irritancy being incurred) before the expiration of 12 months from the commencement of the period of the tenancy; and

 (ii)exceeding 12 months, if it confers on the tenant an option for renewal of the tenancy for a period which, together with the original period, exceeds 12 months, and it is not determinable as mentioned in paragraph (i) above.

 

                                                                     Ground 5

 The house is held for the purpose of being available for occupation by a minister or a full-time lay missionary of any religious denomination as a residence from which to perform the duties of his office and-

(a)not later than the beginning of the tenancy the landlord (or, where there are joint landlords, any of them) gave notice in writing to the tenant that possession might be recovered on this ground; and

(b)the sheriff is satisfied that the house is required for occupation by such a minister or missionary as such a residence.

 

                                                                     Ground 6

 The landlord who is seeking possession or, where the immediate landlord is a registered housing association within the meaning of the Housing Associations Act 1985, a superior landlord intends to demolish or reconstruct the whole or a substantial part of the house or to carry out substantial works on the house or any part thereof or any building of which it forms part and the following conditions are fulfilled (and in those conditions the landlord who is intending to carry out the demolition, reconstruction or substantial works is referred to as "the relevant landlord")-

(a) either-

(i)the relevant landlord (or, in the case of joint relevant landlords, any one of them)acquired his interest in the house before the creation of the tenancy; or

(ii)none of the following persons acquired his interest in the house for value-

 (A)the relevant landlord (or, in the case of joint relevant landlords, any one of them);

(B)the immediate landlord (or, in the case of joint immediate landlords, any one of them), where he acquired his interest after the creation of the tenancy;

(C)any person from whom the relevant landlord (or any one of joint relevant landlords) derives title and who acquired his interest in the house after the creation of the tenancy; and

 (b) the relevant landlord cannot reasonably carry out the intended work without the tenant giving up possession of the house because-

 (i)the work can otherwise be carried out only if the tenant accepts a variation in the terms of the tenancy and the tenant refuses to do so;

(ii)the work can otherwise be carried out only if the tenant accepts an assured tenancy of part of the house and the tenant refuses to do so; or

(iii)the work can otherwise be carried out only if the tenant accepts either a variation in the terms of the tenancy or an assured tenancy of part of the house or both, and the tenant refuses to do so; or

(iv)the work cannot otherwise be carried out even if the tenant accepts a variation in the terms of the tenancy or an assured tenancy of only part of the house or both.

 

                                                                     Ground 7

 The tenancy has devolved under the will or intestacy of the former tenant and the proceedings for the recovery of possession are begun not later than twelve months after the death of the former tenant or, if the sheriff so directs, after the date on which, in his opinion, the landlord (or, where there are joint landlords, any of them) became aware of the former tenant's death.

 For the purposes of this Ground, the acceptance by the landlord of rent from a new tenant after the death of the former tenant shall not be regarded as creating a new tenancy, unless the landlord agrees in writing to a change (as compared with the tenancy before the death) in the amount of the rent, the period of the tenancy, the premises which are let or any other term of the tenancy.

 

 

                                                                     Ground 8

 Both at the date of the service of the notice under section 19 of this Act relating to the proceedings for possession and at the date of the hearing, at least three months rent lawfully due from the tenant is in arrears.

 

 

                                                                      PART II

                             GROUNDS ON WHICH SHERIFF MAY ORDER POSSESSION

 

                                                                     Ground 9

 Suitable alternative accommodation is available for the tenant or will be available for him when the order for possession takes effect.

 

                                                                    Ground 10

 The following conditions are fulfilled-

(a)the tenant has given a notice to quit which has expired; and

(b)the tenant has remained in possession of the whole or any part of the house; and

(c)proceedings for the recover of the possession have been begun not more than six months after the expiry of the notice to quit; and

(d)the tenant is not entitled to possession of the house by virtue of a new tenancy.

 

                                                                    Ground 11

 Whether or not any rent is in arrears on the date on which proceedings for possession are begun, the tenant has persistently delayed paying rent which has become lawfully due.

 

                                                                    Ground 12

 Some rent lawfully due from the tenant-

(a)is unpaid on the date on which the proceedings for possession are begun; and

(b)except where subsection (1)(b) of section 19 of this Act applies, was in arrears at the date of the service of the notice under that section relating to those proceedings.

 

                                                                    Ground 13

 Any obligations of the tenancy (other than one related to the payment of rent) has been broken or not performed.

 

                                                                    Ground 14

 The condition of the house or of any of the common parts has deteriorated owing to acts of waste by, or the neglect or default of, the tenant or any one of joint tenants or any person residing or lodging with him or any sub-tenant of his; and, in the case of acts of waste by, or the neglect or default of, a person lodging with a tenant or a sub-tenant of his, the tenant has not, before the making of the order in question, taken such steps as he ought reasonably to have taken for the removal of the lodger or sub-tenant.

 In this Ground, "the common parts" means any part of a building containing the house and any other premises which the tenant is entitled under the terms of the tenancy to use in common with the occupiers of other houses.

 

                                                                    Ground 15

 The tenant or any other person residing or lodging with him in the house has been guilty of conduct in or in the vicinity of the house which is a nuisance or annoyance, or has been convicted of using the house or allowing the house to be used for immoral or illegal purposes.

 

                                                                    Ground 16

 The condition of any furniture provided for use under the tenancy has deteriorated owing to ill-treatment by the tenant or any other person residing or lodging with him in the house and, in the case of ill-treatment by a person lodging with the tenant or by a sub-tenant of his, the tenant has not taken such steps as he ought reasonably to have taken for the removal of the lodger or sub-tenant.

 

                                                                    Ground 17

 The house was let to the tenant in consequence of his employment by the landlord seeking possession or a previous landlord under the tenancy and the tenant has ceased to be in that employment.

 

Schedule Part 2

Responsiblities of Tenants in multiple occupancy properties

 

                                                                     Part Two

 I.   RESPONSIBILITIES OF TENANT

 a)  The Tenant accepts the house and shared accommodation and, where the house or shared accommodation is furnished, the furniture and furnishings therein shown in said Inventory in its present condition as being in good and habitable condition; will maintain them in that condition and leave them in like condition at the end of the tenancy; will be responsible for any damage (other than fair wear and tear) to, or dilapidation of, the house and shared accommodation and its fixtures and fittings; or damage to, or loss of any item of  furniture and furnishings as may be evidenced by said Inventory. The Tenant  will be responsible for insuring any furnishings and others which  the Tenant may bring into or onto the house and shared accommodation.

 b)  In the case of flatted property, the Tenant undertakes, in conjunction with the other proprietors/occupiers, to sweep and clean the common stairway and hallway. 

 c)  The Tenant agrees not to use or allow either the shared or the separate accommodation to be used for illegal purposes. 

d)  The Tenant undertakes to dispose of all rubbish in an appropriate manner and at the appropriate time.

 e) The Tenant will be responsible for payment of an equal share along with the tenants of the remaining separate accommodation in the house ("an equal share") of all gas, electricity or telephone accounts (if any) incurred by him. A pay phone is installed in the house. The Tenant shall not interfere with the pay phone or number thereof. The Tenant shall be liable to the Landlord for the appropriate amount of council tax payable by the Tenant.

 f)  The tenant will also be responsible for obtaining a television licence for any television receiver used by him within the house.

g)  The Tenant undertakes to keep the separate accommodation, and to  pay an equal share of the cost of keeping the shared accommodation in a clean and tidy condition and properly aired at all times, the garden (if any) pertaining thereto in a neat and tidy order, to use any garden ground only for amenity and pleasure and the recreation of gardening and to replace all glass broken during the tenancy.

 h)  The Tenant undertakes to have the windows cleaned regularly.

 i)  The Tenant undertakes not to alter, decorate or paint any part of the house without the express consent in writing of either the Landlord or his agents.

 j)  The Tenant undertakes not to mark or cut any part of the house.

 k)  The Tenant undertakes not to stop up or obstruct the waste pipes or drains.

 l)  The Tenant undertakes not to keep any animals without the express consent in writing from either the Landlord or his agents.  Any domestic pet (where permitted) will be kept under supervision and control to ensure that it does not cause nuisance to neighbours or deterioration in the condition of the common areas or in the vicinity of the house.

m)  The Tenant undertakes not to cause or allow any person occupying or visiting the house to cause noise, nuisance, disturbance or annoyance to neighbours within the vicinity of the house nor to the public at large and we shall be entitled in our sole uncontrolled discretion to decide whether any such conduct complained of constitutes a breach of this condition.  The Tenant shall indemnify the Landlord against all liabilities for which the Landlord may become responsible as a result of anything done or omitted in or on the house by the Tenant and any other party for whom the Tenant  may be responsible in law and against all relative and consequential expenses.  The Tenant shall observe all title burdens.

 n)  The Tenant undertakes not to commit or allow members of his/her household or persons visiting the house to commit any act of violence or any form of harassment on the grounds of race, colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age which may interfere with the peace and comfort of, or cause offence to, any other neighbours or members of their household either in their accommodation or in the vicinity of the house.

 o)  The Tenant undertakes not to leave the house unoccupied for more than two weeks and on any occasion when it is unoccupied to take all reasonable precautions to safeguard it and the contents against frost damage and damage consequential thereto including turning off the water at the main and draining the tank and pipes and reinstate any such damage. If the house is to be unoccupied for more than two weeks the Landlord or his agents must be informed. Before vacating the house the Tenant shall thoroughly clean the house and provide a forwarding address.

 p)  The Tenant undertakes to give the Landlord or his agents IMMEDIATE NOTICE of any damage to the house and/or its contents.

q)  The Tenant undertakes to pay the whole cost of repairing, replacing or redecorating any part of the house or its contents and furnishings which is required as a result of damage caused through neglect, carelessness or wilful damage on the part of the Tenant or any member of the Tenant's household or a visitor.

r)  The Tenant undertakes to permit prospective purchasers at any reasonable time and prospective Tenants at any reasonable time during the last month of the let, to inspect the house, in both cases after reasonable notice has been given to the Tenant.

 s)  The Tenant undertakes to permit the Landlord or his agents with or without workmen and others and with all necessary appliances and, except in emergency, at all reasonable times on giving not less than forty eight hours notice, (i) to enter the house to inspect the same and, where the house is furnished, the furniture and furnishings therein and (ii) to authorise persons interested in purchasing or leasing the house to view it either in your presence, or accompanied by the Landlord or his Agents in your absence. to enter upon and examine the condition of the house and the said contents and furnishings and to execute repairs or redecoration to the same.

t)  The Tenant undertakes to immediately report to the Landlord or his agents any defect or disrepair for which the Landlord is responsible and shall ensure that access is provided to the house for repairs to be carried out and for the inspection of gas and electrical installations.

 u)  The Tenant will be responsible for payment to the Landlord of the Council Tax for which the Tenant is responsible.

 

Responsibilities of Tenants in single occupancy properties

a)  The Tenant accepts the house  and, where the house  is furnished, the furniture and furnishings therein shown in said Inventory in its present condition as being in good and habitable condition; will maintain them in that condition and leave them in like condition at the end of the tenancy; will be responsible for any damage (other than fair wear and tear) to, or dilapidation of, the house and shared accommodation and its fixtures and fittings; or damage to, or loss of any item of  furniture and furnishings as may be evidenced by said Inventory. The Tenant  will be responsible for insuring any furnishings and others which  the Tenant may bring into or onto the house and shared accommodation.

 b)  In the case of flatted property, the Tenant undertakes, in conjunction with the other proprietors/occupiers, to sweep and clean the common stairway and hallway. 

 c)  The Tenant agrees not to use or allow the house to be used for illegal purposes. 

d)  The Tenant undertakes to dispose of all rubbish in an appropriate manner and at the appropriate time.

 e) The Tenant will be responsible for payment all gas, electricity or telephone accounts (if any) incurred by him. 

f)  The tenant will also be responsible for obtaining a television licence for any television receiver used by him within the house. 

g)  The Tenant undertakes to keep the house in a clean and tidy condition and properly aired at all times, the garden (if any) pertaining thereto in a neat and tidy order, to use any garden ground only for amenity and pleasure and the recreation of gardening and to replace all glass broken during the tenancy. 

h)  The Tenant undertakes to have the windows cleaned regularly. 

i)  The Tenant undertakes not to alter, decorate or paint any part of the house without the express consent in writing of either the Landlord or his agents. 

j)  The Tenant undertakes not to mark or cut any part of the house. 

k)  The Tenant undertakes not to stop up or obstruct the waste pipes or drains. 

l)  The Tenant undertakes not to keep any animals without the express consent in writing from either the Landlord or his agents.  Any domestic pet (where permitted) will be kept under supervision and control to ensure that it does not cause nuisance to neighbours or deterioration in the condition of the common areas or in the vicinity of the house. 

m)  The Tenant undertakes not to cause or allow any person occupying or visiting the house to cause noise, nuisance, disturbance or annoyance to neighbours within the vicinity of the house nor to the public at large and we shall be entitled in our sole uncontrolled discretion to decide whether any such conduct complained of constitutes a breach of this condition.  The Tenant shall indemnify the Landlord against all liabilities for which the Landlord may become responsible as a result of anything done or omitted in or on the house by the Tenant and any other party for whom the Tenant  may be responsible in law and against all relative and consequential expenses.  The Tenant shall observe all title burdens. 

n)  The Tenant undertakes not to commit or allow members of his/her household or persons visiting the house to commit any act of violence or any form of harassment on the grounds of race, colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age which may interfere with the peace and comfort of, or cause offence to, any other neighbours or members of their household either in their accommodation or in the vicinity of the house. 

o)  The Tenant undertakes not to leave the house unoccupied for more than two weeks and on any occasion when it is unoccupied to take all reasonable precautions to safeguard it and the contents against frost damage and damage consequential thereto including turning off the water at the main and draining the tank and pipes and reinstate any such damage. If the house is to be unoccupied for more than two weeks the Landlord or his agents must be informed. Before vacating the house the Tenant shall thoroughly clean the house and provide a forwarding address. 

p)  The Tenant undertakes to give the Landlord or his agents IMMEDIATE NOTICE of any damage to the house and/or its contents. 

q)  The Tenant undertakes to pay the whole cost of repairing, replacing or redecorating any part of the house or its contents and furnishings which is required as a result of damage caused through neglect, carelessness or wilful damage on the part of the Tenant or any member of the Tenant's household or a visitor.

r)  The Tenant undertakes to permit prospective purchasers at any reasonable time and prospective Tenants at any reasonable time during the last month of the let, to inspect the house, in both cases after reasonable notice has been given to the Tenant. 

s)  The Tenant undertakes to permit the Landlord or his agents with or without workmen and others and with all necessary appliances and, except in emergency, at all reasonable times on giving not less than forty eight hours notice, (i) to enter the house to inspect the same and, where the house is furnished, the furniture and furnishings therein and (ii) to authorise persons interested in purchasing or leasing the house to view it either in your presence, or accompanied by the Landlord or his Agents in your absence. to enter upon and examine the condition of the house and the said contents and furnishings and to execute repairs or redecoration to the same. 

t)  The Tenant undertakes to immediately report to the Landlord or his agents any defect or disrepair for which the Landlord is responsible and shall ensure that access is provided to the house for repairs to be carried out and for the inspection of gas and electrical installations. 

u)  The Tenant will be responsible for payment to the Council of the Council Tax for which the Tenant is responsible.

 

Responsibilities of the Landlord including the Repairing Standards

 

The Landlord undertakes:

 a)  To pay all premiums for insurance of the building and contents belonging to him. The Landlord will have no responsibility for damage to or insurance of any furnishings, personal effects and contents brought into the house by the Tenant who will be responsible for insuring the same. 

b)  To maintain the building in a wind and watertight condition. 

c)  To keep in repair the structure and exterior of the house (in conjunction with other owners if appropriate) and keep it fit for human habitation including the following where appropriate:-.............................. 

*  drains, gutters and external pipes (this does not include the clearance of blockages caused by the tenant's negligence)

*  the roof

*  outside walls, outside doors, windowsills, window catches, sash cords and window frames, including external painting and decoration

*  internal walls, floors and ceilings, doors, door frames, and internal staircases and landings (including painting and decoration)

*  chimneys, chimneystacks and flues

*  pathways, steps or other means of access

*  plasterwork

*  integral garages and stores

*  boundary walls and fences

*  making good damage caused by acts of vandalism/criminal activity by a person or persons other than a tenant, any member of his/her household or a tenant’s visitor(s) provided they have been notified to the police within 24 hours of occurring, or as soon as is reasonably practicable, by the tenant or by someone acting on the tenants behalf. 

d)  To keep in repair and proper working order any installations for the supply of water, gas, electricity, sanitation, space heating and water heating in compliance with current safety legislation including the following where appropriate: 

*  Basins, sinks, baths, toilets, flushing systems and waste pipes, showers, water tanks

*  Electric wiring, fireplaces, fittings, fires and central heating installations, door entry systems, TV aerials and extractor fans. 

e)  To follow due legal process when seeking to terminate the tenancy and recover possession of the house. 

f)  To provide the Tenant with a copy of a valid gas safety certificate (if appropriate) which can be retained by the Tenant. 

g)  To provide the Tenant only with furniture and furnishings that comply with Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988. 

h)  Except in cases of emergencies, to give the Tenant a minimum of 24 hours notice in writing that the Landlord or his agents wish to inspect the house. In the event that the Landlord or his agents is informed or becomes aware of any emergency and the Tenant is unable to provide access to the house immediately, it is agreed the Landlord or his agents may gain access to the house using forcible means if necessary. 

i)  The Landlord also undertakes, where appropriate, to maintain fire safety precautions and installations and exterior routes.

 

The repairing standard

Landlord’s duty to repair and maintain

12 Tenancies to which repairing standard duty applies

(1) This Chapter applies to any tenancy of a house let for human habitation unless it is—

(a) a Scottish secure tenancy or a short Scottish secure tenancy,

(b) a tenancy of a house retained or purchased by a local authority under section 121 of the 1987 Act for use as housing accommodation,

(c) a tenancy of a house which is—

(i) on land comprised in a lease constituting—

(A) a 1991 Act tenancy (within the meaning of the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003 (asp 11)),

(B) a short limited duration tenancy (within the meaning of that Act), or

(C) a limited duration tenancy (within the meaning of that Act), and

(ii) occupied by the tenant of the relevant lease,

(d) a tenancy of a house on a croft (within the meaning of the Crofters (Scotland) Act 1993 (c. 44)), or

(e) a tenancy of a house on a holding situated outwith the crofting counties (within the meaning of that Act of 1993) to which any provision of the Small Landholders (Scotland) Acts 1886 to 1931 applies.

(2) A reference in this Chapter to a tenancy refers only to a tenancy to which this Chapter applies.

13 The repairing standard

(1) A house meets the repairing standard if—

(a) the house is wind and water tight and in all other respects reasonably fit for human habitation,

(b) the structure and exterior of the house (including drains, gutters and external pipes) are in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order,

(c) the installations in the house for the supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation, space heating and heating water are in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order,

(d) any fixtures, fittings and appliances provided by the landlord under the tenancy are in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order,

(e) any furnishings provided by the landlord under the tenancy are capable of being used safely for the purpose for which they are designed, and

(f) the house has satisfactory provision for detecting fires and for giving warning in the event of fire or suspected fire.

(2) In determining whether a house meets the standard of repair mentioned in subsection (1)(a), regard is to be had to the extent (if any) to which the house, by reason of disrepair or sanitary defects, falls short of the provisions of any building regulations.

(3) In determining whether a house meets the standard of repair mentioned in subsection (1)(b), regard is to be had to—

(a) the age, character and prospective life of the house, and

(b) the locality in which the house is situated.

(4) The reference in subsection (1)(c) to installations in a house includes reference to installations outwith the house which, directly or indirectly, serve the house and which the owner is responsible for maintaining (solely or in common with others) by virtue of ownership, any real burden or otherwise.

(5) In determining whether a house meets the standard of repair mentioned in subsection (1)(f), regard is to be had to any building regulations and any guidance issued by the Scottish Ministers on provision for detecting fires and for giving warning in the event of fire or suspected fire.

14 Landlord’s duty to repair and maintain

(1) The landlord in a tenancy must ensure that the house meets the repairing standard—

(a) at the start of the tenancy, and

(b) at all times during the tenancy.

(2) The duty imposed by subsection (1) includes a duty to make good any damage caused by carrying out any work for the purposes of complying with the duty in that subsection.

(3) The duty imposed by subsection (1)(b) applies only where—

(a) the tenant notifies the landlord, or

(b) the landlord otherwise becomes aware,

that work requires to be carried out for the purposes of complying with it.

(4) The landlord complies with the duty imposed by subsection (1)(b) only if any work which requires to be carried out for the purposes of complying with that duty is completed within a reasonable time of the landlord being notified by the tenant, or otherwise becoming aware, that the work is required.

15 Application of duty in relation to flats etc.

(1) Where a house forms part only of any premises, the reference in section 13(1)(b) to the house includes reference to any part of those premises which the owner of the house is responsible for maintaining (solely or in common with others) by virtue of ownership, any real burden or otherwise.

(2) Nothing in subsection (1) requires the landlord to carry out any work unless any part of the premises, or anything in the premises, which the tenant is entitled to use is adversely affected by the disrepair or failure to keep in proper working order.

16 Exceptions to landlord’s repairing duty

(1) The duty imposed by section 14(1) does not require—

(a) any work to be carried out which the tenant is required by the terms of the tenancy to carry out,

(b) any work to be carried out for which the tenant—

(i) is liable by virtue of the tenant’s duty to use the house in a proper manner, or

(ii) would be so liable but for any express undertaking on the landlord’s part,

(c) the house to be rebuilt or reinstated in the event of destruction or damage by fire or by storm, flood or other inevitable accident, or

(d) the repair or maintenance of anything that the tenant is entitled to remove from the house.

(2) The exception made by subsection (1)(a) applies only if the tenancy concerned is—

(a) for a period of not less than 3 years, and

(b) not determinable at the option of either party within 3 years of the start of the tenancy.

(3) Where the terms of a tenancy are not agreed until after the tenancy starts, the tenancy is, for the purposes of subsection (2), to be treated as starting on the date of agreement.

(4) A landlord is not to be treated as having failed to comply with the duty imposed by section 14(1) where the purported failure occurred only because the landlord lacked necessary rights (of access or otherwise) despite having taken reasonable steps for the purposes of acquiring those rights.

17 Prohibition on contracting out

(1) The terms of a tenancy and of any other agreement between the landlord and the tenant are of no effect in so far as they purport to—

(a) require the tenant to carry out, or to pay for or contribute towards the cost of, any work which the landlord requires to ensure be carried out for the purposes of complying with the duty imposed by section 14(1),

(b) exclude or limit that duty, or

(c) provide for termination of the tenancy, or impose on the tenant any penalty, disability or obligation, in the event of the tenant enforcing compliance by the landlord of that duty.

(2) This section is subject to any contrary provision made by order under section 18.

18 Contracting out with consent of sheriff

(1) The sheriff may, on the application of the landlord or the tenant, by order exclude or modify the application to the tenancy of any of the provisions of sections 14, 15 and 17.

(2) An order under subsection (1) may be made only if—

(a) the other party under the tenancy consents, and

(b) the sheriff, having regard to the terms of the tenancy and to all the circumstances, considers that it is reasonable to do so.

19 Pre-tenancy inspection

The landlord must—

(a) inspect the house before the tenancy starts for the purpose of identifying any work necessary to comply with the duty imposed by section 14(1)(a), and

(b) notify the tenant of any such work.

20 Tenant’s right to information about landlord’s duty

(1) The landlord must, on or before the start of a tenancy, provide the tenant with written information about the effect of this Chapter in relation to the tenancy.

(2) The Scottish Ministers may issue guidance to such persons as they think fit about the form and content of information to be provided under subsection (1) and the manner in which the information should be provided.

(3) Any landlord to whom such guidance is issued must have regard to it.

(4) The Scottish Ministers may vary or revoke any such guidance.

 

 

Explanatory Notes to the Act Chapter 4 - The repairing standard

Landlord's duty to repair and maintain

39.     Section 12 sets out the tenancies to which the repairing standard applies. It will apply to all tenancies, except Scottish secure tenancies and short Scottish secure tenancies, houses purchased by a local authority to be repaired and used as housing accommodation as an alternative to demolition, houses occupied by tenants of tenancies under the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Acts, tenancies of houses on crofts and tenancies of houses on holdings to which the Small Landholders (Scotland) Acts 1886 to 1931 apply. In terms of the interpretation section (section 194) the standard does not apply to occupancy arrangements as they are not tenancies, but it does apply where living accommodation is occupied by a person under that person's terms of employment.

40.     Section 13 outlines the definition of the repairing standard. Subsection (1) sets out the criteria to be met if a house is to meet the repairing standard. Subsection (2) requires that, in determining whether a house is fit for human habitation, regard should be had to whether, and to what extent, the house fails to meet building regulations in force in the area. Subsection (3) states that the standard of repair of the structure and exterior of the house should have regard to the age, character and prospective life of the house and the nature of the locality. Subsection (4) means that gas, water and electricity supplies which are the landlord's responsibility but are outside the house are also covered. Subsection (5) states that the requirement in subsection (1)(f) to have satisfactory provision in relation to fire detection and warning is to be determined with regard being paid to relevant building regulations and guidance issued by Ministers.

41.     Landlords' duties to repair and maintain a property are set out in section 14. Landlords have a duty to ensure that the house meets the repairing standard. They must ensure that work is carried out at the start of the tenancy so that the house meets the standard, and at all times during the tenancy, but this latter duty only applies where the landlord is notified by the tenant of a problem or the landlord otherwise becomes aware that work is required. This work should be carried out within a reasonable time and must include making good any damage caused in carrying out the work.

42.     Section 15 details how the repairing standard applies to flats or other situations where the house forms part only of the premises. Subsection (1) makes clear that the reference in the repairing standard to the structure and exterior of the house includes any part of the building in which the landlord has an interest. This has the effect of including common property in the assessment of the repairing standard in relation to the structure and exterior. In terms of subsection (2), the landlord is only obliged to carry out work that will have an effect on the parts of the premises that the tenant is entitled to use.

43.     Section 16 excludes from the landlord's duty under the repairing standard any work where the tenant has the responsibility for the work and the house is let for a period of not less than three years. In addition, where the need for work under the duty arose from the tenant's action, the duty would not apply. The duty under the repairing standard does not include rebuilding or reinstating a house that is damaged or destroyed or work on anything that the tenant is entitled to remove from the house. The section also provides that the landlord has not failed to comply with the obligation where he has tried to carry out the required work, but cannot obtain rights to do so.

44.     Section 17 prevents contracting out from the landlord's obligation under section 14(1) through the terms of a tenancy or other agreement between a landlord and tenant, unless consent has been obtained from the sheriff under section 18.

45.     Section 18 provides that the landlord's duty to repair and maintain the property may be varied or excluded by order of the sheriff, on application from landlord or tenant. This can be done only if the sheriff considers it reasonable and both parties consent.

46.     A landlord must inspect a house before a tenancy starts to identify any work required to meet the repairing standard. The landlord must tell the tenant of any work needed to meet the standard (section 19). Landlords must give tenants, on or before the tenancy starts, written information on the repairing standard and the landlord's duties under the standard. The Scottish Ministers can issue guidance on the information to be provided to tenants, to which landlords must have regard (section 20).