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PRT Legislation Signals Significant Change

The current legislative framework for residential lettings in Scotland is changing from 1 December. All properties let after this date will be let as a Private Residential Tenancy (PRT), replacing the previous system of Assured and Short Assured Tenancies.

Landlords must be fully aware of the implications of the new rules before agreeing to let a property they own on a PRT. Bob Cherry, head of lettings for Galbraith, said:

In our view the lettings market was operating successfully before the introduction of this legislation and there is certainly substantial demand for let property in all the regions we cover. There are elements in the new legislation which landlords need to be very careful about in particular it will not be possible to terminate a new Private Residential Tenancy with notice, without cause.

However there are several aspects of this legislation which may make relationships between tenants and landlords more secure. For example, tenants will have improved security of tenure and whilst this could sometimes create difficulties for landlords who have a genuine reason to need to end a tenancy agreement, the vast majority of our landlords are seeking a long-term let and the new PRTs will help to achieve this in many cases.

Where the relationship between the tenant and the landlord does break down, there may be an element of streamlining in the process for resolving disputes, but we will have to wait and see how this system operates in practice. Our landlords are committed to maintaining their properties in good order inside and out and therefore the new emphasis on enforcing breaches of the repairing standard is unlikely to have any significant impact on them. 

The key aspect for the industry to operate successfully is effective communication between the landlord and the tenant from day one of the tenancy and a willingness on both sides to work in close collaboration. We would advise landlords to seek advice and ensure they are aware of the very significant implications of the changes. The perpetual demand for rental property during 2017 testifies to a healthy market and high degrees of satisfaction on both sides and we hope/expect to see this continue.

Galbraith lets and manages over a thousand homes for hundreds of clients across Scotland in cities, towns and rural areas. The firm is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Association of Residential Letting Agents as well as having SAFEagent' accreditation. Galbraith has lettings teams operating in six offices across Scotland with highly experienced local experts providing expert rental valuation and guidance for landlords.

The firm offers a range of different services for landlords, from fully managed lets to simply finding a good tenant.