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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Scotland considers strengthening security for private tenants

The Scottish Government is currently consulting on a range of measures to reform its private tenancy system.  The consultation exercise has been driven by recent changes to the private rented sector in Scotland, where this tenure now accounts for more than 330,000 households.  Since 1999, there has been an increase in the amount of private accommodation rented to families and to those seeking a long term home. 

Scottish proposals to change the private rented sector

The consultation document sets out a number of suggested reforms, including

  • the removal of the no-fault ground for repossession of a short assured tenancy
  • ensuring that any periodic tenancy arising out of a fixed term agreement is for a period equal to that in the original fixed term, thus doing away with monthly periodic tenancies
  • requiring that landlords offer a minimum tenancy term of six months, while allowing tenants to request a shorter term if their circumstances require this
  • extending the amount of notice that landlords are required to give tenants who have lived in the property for longer than 6 months
  • extending, to eight weeks, the amount of notice a tenant must give to a landlord if they have been living in a property for longer than 6 months
  • amending the existing mandatory grounds for possession of a private tenancy
  • allowing landlords to issue a shorter 4 week notice to quit if one of the revised grounds for possession applies
  • introducing a model tenancy agreement, including guidance notes explaining the terms of the agreement in plain language

Investigating market led rent setting

The consultation also asks for respondents' views on a number of questions relating to rent levels in the Scottish rental market. The Scottish Government intends to publish a comprehensive analysis of the changes to rent levels across Scotland over the last three years at the end of October.  

Renting privately - learning from the Scottish experience

Northern Ireland is currently in the midst of a housing review.  It will be important to explore how the DSD review into housing regulation can support the future development of the private rented sector in Northern Ireland.

We're delighted to have secured Aileen Devanny, President of the Scottish Private Rented Housing Panel, as a speaker at our upcoming conference "Bigger and Better: The Future of Private Renting in Northern Ireland".  Aileen will be discussing her experience in resolving disputes between landlords and tenants in Scotland.  Aileen is one of a number of distinguished speakers at the event.  Other confirmed speakers include:

  • Professor Paddy Gray, University of Ulster
  • Professor Peter Kemp, University of Oxford
  • Kath Scanlon, LSE London
  • Dr Eoin O’Sullivan, Trinity College Dublin 
  • Mark Hitchen, Head of Expanding the Rented Sector Programme, Housing Directorate, Department for Communities  and Local Government

Book your place online or email geraldine@housingrights.org.uk

Tagged In

Outside NI, Private Tenancies, Policy, Landlord