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    Private residential tenancies

    Most new private rented sector tenancies created on or after 1st December 2017 will be private residential tenancies.  

    The most significant change is that private residential tenancies have no fixed duration and can only be ended, either by the tenant giving notice, or where the landlord can prove one of 18 grounds.

    What is a PRT

    The Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 provides the definition of a private residential tenancy. 

    Excluded tenancies

    Almost all new private tenancies created on or after 1st December are private residential tenancies. However, there are a number of exemptions and these are listed in Schedule 1 of the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 

    Statutory tenancy terms

    There are a number of tenancy terms applicable to every private residential tenancy and these are laid down in statute. 

    Grounds for possession

    There are specific steps that a landlord must take to bring a private residential tenancy to an end. 

    Tenant wants to leave

    A tenant may bring their private residential tenancy to an end either, with the landlord’s full agreement or by giving the required amount of notice. 

    Repossession process

    This section details how repossession action is raised for private residential tenants. 

    Wrongful termination

    Where a tenant believes misleading information led to the tenancy being ended, with or without the granting of an eviction order, they can make an application to the First Tier Tribunal Housing and Property Chamber. 


    Assignation is the legal process whereby one tenant passes the tenancy on to another person. Tenants wishing to assign a private residential tenancy must have their landlord’s consent. 


    The rights to succeed a private residential tenancy are set out in statute. These rights are similar to those relating to Scottish secure tenancies. However, in all cases the tenancy can only be succeeded once. 

    Change of landlord

    This section looks at a private residential tenant's rights when the ownership of the property they occupy changes hands. 


    A landlord of a private residential tenancy can only increase the rent once in any twelve month period and must follow the procedure laid down in legislation. The landlord and tenant cannot include a rent increase clause in the tenancy agreement to avoid using the statutory procedure 

    Short assured or private residential tenancy

    This section looks at situations where a short assured tenancy has reached the end of the original fixed term and gives details as to whether the tenancy continues or a new private residential tenancy is created. 

    This content applies to Scotland

    Last updated: 15 November 2017