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Getting your landlord to give you a private residential tenancy agreement

By the end of the first day of your tenancy, your landlord must give you:

  • a written private residential tenancy agreement (PRT)

  • either the supporting notes or the easy read notes

If they refuse to give you the right documents, you could get compensation at the First-tier Tribunal (Housing and Property Chamber).

Check if you should have a private residential tenancy

You have a private residential tenancy (PRT) if you rent from a private landlord or letting agent and:

  • you moved in after 1 December 2017

  • you do not live with your landlord

  • the property is your main or only home

If you live with your landlord you'll have a common law tenancy instead. In this case, your landlord does not have to give you an agreement in writing, but you can ask for one.

If you moved in before 1 December 2017

If you never got a written agreement, you have an assured tenancy.

You could have a PRT instead if on or after 1 December 2017:

  • you signed a new agreement for the tenancy with a new landlord

  • you signed a new agreement to add or remove someone from your tenancy

If your landlord asked you to sign anything other than a PRT agreement, it may not be valid.

You can take tribunal action to make them give you the right agreement if they refuse.

If your landlord claims you have a holiday let

You can only have a holiday let agreement for up to 30 days.

If you've been living there for longer than 30 days and it's your only or main home, you could have a PRT instead.

If you're not sure whether you should have a PRT, contact a Shelter Scotland adviser.

If your landlord has not given you the right agreement

You must give them notice before going to the tribunal.

Download the tenant notification to landlord of intention to apply to First-tier Tribunal letter on

Keep a copy of the letter, send it by recorded delivery and keep the receipt.

Once your landlord receives the letter, they have 28 days to give you the right documents. They must give you either:

If your landlord decides to write up their own version of the agreement, it must include the right information about:

  • when they have to give rent receipts

  • rent increases

  • subletting

  • how to notify them about other residents

  • access for repairs

  • ending your tenancy

If your landlord includes an unlawful term in your agreement that takes away from your rights, you can apply to the tribunal to correct this.

Going to the tribunal

The tribunal can order your landlord to give you the correct agreement and pay you compensation.

Your landlord could be ordered to pay you up to 3 times the rent if they refused to give you either:

  • the correct written agreement

  • the supporting or easy read notes for your tenancy

If your landlord refused to give you both the agreement and the notes, they can be ordered to pay you up to 6 times the rent.

You can only apply if you're still in the tenancy. You cannot send an application once the tenancy has ended.


The tribunal is free, and generally you do not need a solicitor to apply.

In your application tell the tribunal:

  • when you moved in

  • what has happened relevant to getting the right documents

  • the amount you think the tribunal should order the landlord to pay you and why

You'll need to send the tribunal evidence in your application, including:

  • a copy of the letter you sent giving the landlord 28 days to provide the documents

  • the recorded delivery receipt showing your landlord got the letter

  • copies of letters, emails or texts about getting the right documents

  • a copy of the tenancy agreement that you believe is wrong, if relevant

We have guidance on what happens after you apply to the tribunal.

Where to send your application

You can send your form and evidence by email or post.


Post: Glasgow Tribunals Centre, 20 York Street, Glasgow, G2 8GT

If you have access needs

Download the inclusive provision questionnaire to tell the tribunal about your needs. For example, if you need an induction loop or an interpreter.

Getting legal advice

In most cases, you do not need legal help to go to the tribunal. You can apply and represent yourself.

Consider getting legal advice if your case is complicated, or if you want to claim a large amount of compensation. A solicitor can help you work out how much to ask for.

Find a solicitor on the Law Society of Scotland

Solicitors charge for their work. You may be able to get free legal advice or legal aid to help with costs.

Last updated: 13 June 2023

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England