Renfrewshire Council

Private tenants - a guide to renting

New Private Residential Tenancy

From 1 December 2017 all new tenancies in Scotland's private rented properties will be a Private Residential Tenancy.

The new tenancy lasts until the tenant wishes to leave the property or the landlord evicts the tenant under one of 18 modern grounds for recovery.

The Scottish Government have introduced the new tenancy to offer greater security to private tenants, and safeguards to landlords and investors.

You can find more on information on the new Private Residential Tenancy on the Scottish Government website.

 

Renting from a private landlord

There are a variety of different properties available for rent in Renfrewshire, ranging from flats to detached houses. Properties that are occupied by three or more unrelated tenants are known as Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs), and need a special license.

You should only rent from landlords registered with the council. To check whether a property or landlord is registered, contact our licensing section using the details at the bottom of the page.

If you have any doubts as to whether a landlord is registered, we recommend that you do not rent their property.

Landlords who are not only registered with the council but have also been accredited by the Scottish Government are listed on the Landlord Accreditation Scotland website. These landlords have adopted high standards of care and management.
 

Guide to Private Renting

We have produced a Guide to Private Renting for people who are considering renting from a private landlord.

Renting Scotland also has a step by step guide to private renting including questions to ask your landlords and your responsibilities. 

 

Tenancy agreements

'Your landlord must provide you with a  tenancy agreement at the beginning of your tenancy.  You will have an option to receive this in writing or via email, whichever is agreed between you and your landlord.  From 1 December 2017 all new private tenants have a 'private residential tenancy', however if you had a 'short assured tenancy' at 1 December 2017 your agreement continues under the conditions agreed until either you or your landlord decide to bring the tenancy to an end.


A tenancy agreement will normally include:

  • details of the amount of rent you will pay
  • period of payment
  • method of payment
  • any review period for changing rent levels
  • your responsibility for payment of council tax
  • service charges
  • utility and other charges

Landlords must also carry out annual gas safety checks on gas appliances and check any electrical equipment in the property. 

Your landlord should also provide you with a copy of an energy performance certificate, which should be displayed in the property you rent.


A landlord may also provide you with a list of all items, known as an inventory, in a property. We recommend that you make a list of all items should your landlord not provide this inventory.
 

Your responsibilities as a tenant

As part of your responsibilities under your tenancy agreement, you are expected to look after the property you rent, pay rent on time and tell your landlord about any repairs that are needed.

You are also responsible for the repair of any damages to the accommodation, or the replacement of any of the fixtures, fittings and items in the inventory that are lost or broken.

You also need to give the landlord reasonable access to the property.
 

The 'repairing standard'

The repairing standard was introduced by the Scottish Government in 2007 and outlines a basic level of repair that all private rented accommodation must reach. To meet the standard, landlords must ensure that a property is:

  • wind and watertight
  • structurally sound
  • has appliances that are in proper working order,
  • has operational smoke alarms installed; and
  • has an operational carbon monoxide detector.

Private landlords must carry out repairs to make sure that their property meets the requirements of the repairing standard. If a repair is needed, you should formally notify your landlord, preferably in writing, of the need for repair. If your landlord fails to carry out the repair within a reasonable timescale the repairing standard gives you the right to lodge a complaint with the Housing and Property Chamber

If you are unable to make a 'repairing standard' complaint to the Housing and Property Chamber yourself Renfrewshire Council may be able to help you make a complaint on your behalf. For more information contact Communities and Environment on 0300 300 0300.

 

Housing and Property Chamber

The Housing and Property Chamber has powers to insist that a landlord meets the requirements of the repairing standard.

Before the Housing and Property Chamber is able to intervene, you must provide evidence that your landlord has failed to carry out a repair to a property.

If your landlord is found to have been negligent in not completing a repair, the Housing and Property Chamber can serve an enforcement order or a rent relief order, meaning that you can withhold your rent until the outstanding repair has been carried out. If a landlord fails to maintain their property, they may also be removed from the register of landlords.

 

Evictions 

A landlord cannot evict you from your home unless they follow certain legal procedures. Section 11 of the Homelessness Persons Act 2003 outlines the responsibilities placed on landlords. These include:

  • sending you a legal notice telling you that they intend to ask the court for permission to evict you, and
  • sending you a 'notice to quit'.

 

Find out more

If you have any questions or concerns about your landlord and need more advice please contact owner services.

 

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