Short Scottish secure tenancies
This page explains what a short Scottish secure tenancy (SSST) is, who will have one and how it can be converted to a Scottish secure tenancy, with increased rights.
What is a short Scottish secure tenancy?
You may have a short Scottish secure tenancy instead of a Scottish secure tenancy because:
in the last three years you have been evicted from a previous tenancy because of antisocial behaviour or you or a member of your household has had an antisocial behaviour order (ASBO) served against you (in this situation there will be services available such as counselling to support you during the duration of your tenancy)
you have a let of six months or more with support to help you sustain your tenancy (this could include debt and financial advice if you have previously had problems with rent arrears, or other forms of counselling)
you have just moved to a new area to start a job and need a short term tenancy while you look for your own accommodation
you are homeless and have been offered temporary accommodation for six months or more
the property you will be living in is going to be developed.
How do I know if I've got a short Scottish secure tenancy?
Before signing a tenancy agreement, your landlord must give you a notice informing you:
that you are being offered a short Scottish secure tenancy
why you are being offered a short Scottish secure tenancy and not a Scottish secure tenancy
how long the lease is for (this must be at least six months).
If you do not think you should be offered a short Scottish secure tenancy instead of a Scottish secure tenancy, you can apply to the sheriff court for an order to make your landlord offer you a Scottish secure tenancy. Talk to an adviser at a Shelter advice centre or Citizens Advice if you're considering this course of action.
What happens when my lease ends?
Your short Scottish secure tenancy agreement will state that your tenancy is for a fixed period of time of at least six months. If by the end of that time, neither you nor your landlord has requested that the lease ends, it will renew itself for the same amount of time again (so, for example, for another six months). This is called tacit relocation.
Alternatively, you and your landlord can agree for the lease to be renewed for a different period of time. This can be less than six months.
If your landlord wants to end your short Scottish secure tenancy at the end of the fixed period, they must start eviction proceedings.
Your renewed tenancy will still be a short Scottish secure tenancy.
How can a short Scottish secure tenancy be converted to a Scottish secure tenancy?
If you have been given a short Scottish secure tenancy because of a previous eviction for antisocial behaviour or because a member of your household has an antisocial behaviour order (ASBO) served against them, the short Scottish secure tenancy will be converted to a Scottish secure tenancy at the end of 12 months, provided the landlord hasn't given you a notice to quit.
Your landlord will notify you when your tenancy agreement changes, and will tell you what your new rights and responsibilities are.
However, your new Scottish secure tenancy can be converted back to a short Scottish secure tenancy if you are found guilty of antisocial behaviour again.
This does not apply to other short Scottish secure tenants (for example, homeless people in temporary accommodation, or people who are new to an area or living in temporary lets in property that is due to be developed).
Support for short Scottish secure tenants
If you have been given a short Scottish secure tenancy because you have been evicted from previous accommodation for antisocial behaviour or because you or another member of your household is subject to an ASBO then your landlord must make support available to you to help you maintain your tenancy and eventually convert to a Scottish secure tenancy. You don't have to accept this support, but it may be a condition of your tenancy being converted to a Scottish secure tenancy.
The kind of support you may be offered could be:
counselling for debt, alcohol or family problems
support from social work.
What are my rights?
As a short Scottish secure tenant you have many of the same right as a Scottish secure tenant. However, your rights are limited regarding the following
Right to buy.
Can I sublet my home or take in a lodger?
If you are thinking about subletting your home or taking in a lodger, you will need to write to your landlord to ask permission, explaining who the new tenant will be, when they will be moving in and how much deposit and rent you will be charging them. Your landlord has to give you permission, unless they have good reason not to (for example, because it will make your home illegally overcrowded, or because they think you are charging the new tenant too much rent).
If you write to your landlord asking permission and they do not get back to you within a month, you can presume they have consented to the arrangement. You should then write to them again explaining that you assume consent has been given and informing them when the tenant will be moving in.
If you want to put your tenant's rent up, you will have to inform your landlord, who can veto the increase if they feel it's excessive.
The length of time your lodger or subtenant can stay in your property, as set out in their tenancy agreement, cannot be longer than the term of your short Scottish secure tenancy.
As the head tenant, you will still be responsible for paying the rent to your landlord. In addition, as the landlord of your subtenant or lodger, you will have certain responsibilities. For example, you will be responsible for making sure certain repairs are carried out, and for carrying out the correct eviction procedure if you want your tenant to leave.
What happens to the tenancy if I die?
As a short Scottish secure tenant, you don't have the right to pass your tenancy on if you die (this is called succession).
Can I buy my home?
As a short Scottish secure tenant, you don't have the right to buy your home.
Can I be evicted from my home?
Short Scottish secure tenants can be evicted more easily than Scottish secure tenants.
Your landlord can start action to evict you at any time for antisocial behaviour or non-payment of rent.
Your landlord can also evict you at the end of the fixed period of your lease and does not need to give you a reason for doing so.
Last updated: 29 December 2014