If you have a Private Residential Tenancy
What are Private Residential Tenancies (PRT)?
Tenancies of separate dwellings, beginning after 1st December 2017 are likely to be Private Residential Tenancies, which are not for a fixed term. Private Residential Tenants have more protection, because the landlord can only seek to end the tenancy if one of 18 grounds apply (not just because he or she wishes to end the tenancy).
How can PRT's be ended?
The landlord must issue a notice if he or she wishes to bring a PRT to an end. This notice must say which of the 18 specific grounds for eviction apply.
These grounds relate to:
- The landlord needing the property for another purpose, or to sell it;
- A change in the tenants' status, which would mean they no longer require specific facilities (such as supported housing);
- The tenant's behaviour (including rent arrears);
- It being illegal for the landlord to continue to rent out the property (for example if it is no longer of a habitable standard).
The full list of grounds are in Schedule 3 of the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016.
If you are served with a notice, and you move out of the property (either when the notice expires, or before), the tenancy comes to an end. If you stay on, the landlord can apply to the First Tier Tribunal, who will issue an eviction order, if the landlord can show that one or more of these grounds applies.
The Tribunal cannot issue an eviction order under any other ground.
If there are people in the property who are sub-tenants of the main tenant, the Tribunal can include them in the eviction order, but must allow them the chance to have their say first.
Wrongful Termination Order
If it can be shown that the Tribunal was misled into issuing an eviction order by the landlord, the Tribunal can be asked to issue a 'Wrongful-Termination Order'. This would require the landlord to pay damages of up to 6 months' rent (the Tribunal decides the amount).
Also, if the landlord misleads a Private Residential Tenant into leaving the property during (or at the end of) the notice period, so that the tenancy automatically ends, the former tenant can ask the Tribunal to issue a 'Wrongful-Termination Order'.
When the Tribunal issues a 'Wrongful-Termination Order', the local Council receives a copy. This could affect the landlord's ability to rent property in the future
How can the Prevention Team help?
Our Prevention Team will check whether the landlord has followed the correct procedure. If possible we will negotiate with them to make sure this really is the last resort, and that they have given you a fair chance to put things right. If you have to move, we will give you advice and assistance to find somewhere else to live - and will help you to know if you can afford it. If you are faced with homelessness, we will assess whether or not your actions contributed towards your homelessness (in which case, we may find you intentionally homeless). In these circumstances, we need not provide you with alternative social housing, but we will do our best to make sure you can arrange some accommodation. If you have children, we may refer you to the duty social work team.
Your landlord is not allowed to put undue pressure on you to leave before the proper legal process has been followed.