NEW LEGAL OBLIGATIONS FOR LANDLORDS
There are new legal obligations on Landlords, which will come into effect from 1 May 2013.
If you rent a property on an Assured or Short Assured Tenancy agreement after 1 May 2013, under section 30A of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988. your Landlord will need to provide you with an information pack containing guidance about tenancies in Scotland. The Tenant Information Pack has been prepared by the Scottish Government and provides guidance on the types of tenancy agreements available in Scotland and the rules regarding the Tenancy Deposit Scheme and the obligations expected of both the landlord and tenant during the tenancy. This includes the renewal of existing tenancies where the landlord and tenant draw up a new lease. (The Landlord is not obliged to provide this information to existing tenants prior to 1st May 2013).
If a letting agent manages the tenancy the tenant should still receive a Tenant Information Pack provided by the letting agent. It will, however, remain the obligation of any Landlord to ensure the tenant receives the documentation.
The Tenant Information Pack also explains what happens if the tenancy agreement is brought to an end or the tenant evicted.
Tenant Information pack
- A Tenant Information Pack should be provided no later than the first day of the tenancy and the Landlord should complete the acknowledgement form on the first page providing the tenant with Landlord’s details, property address, type of tenancy agreement. If the tenancy is to be a Short Assured Tenancy, then the Acknowledgement Form should indicate that the tenant has received a Form AT5. Both parties should sign the acknowledgement form, unless it has been sent or acknowledged in an email.
- Where there are multiple tenants’ one tenant can sign the acknowledgement form on behalf of all the tenants.
- While the wording of the pack must not be amended, a landlord can provide additional information relevant to the tenancy.
- Failure to provide a Tenant Information Pack is a criminal offence and can result in a fine of up to £500 for the Landlord.
- If the Landlord fails to provide a Tenant Information Pack the tenant should report the landlord to their local council.
- The Scottish Government will revise the information pack to take account of any changes in the law.