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Communication agreements

A landlord and tenant with a private residential tenancy should agree how they will contact each other when they need to send something, such as a tenancy agreement or legal notice.

A legal notice could be:

  • a Rent Increase Notice
  • a Notice to Leave
  • a notice to a landlord that the tenant is taking them to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland Housing and Property Chamber

You can agree to send these:

  • as a paper letter that you can give by hand
  • by recorded delivery
  • by email

A sheriff officer can serve a legal notice on someone in some cases.

Why you should do this

The Tribunal can say a legal notice was received if you follow an agreed way of sending it. This can be the case even if someone says they didn't get the notice.

If you need to prove someone got a notice you sent, it will help if:

  • you've agreed a way to send a legal notice
  • this agreed way is in your written tenancy terms
  • you've sent the notice by the agreed way
  • you have appropriate evidence, for example a read receipt, proof of postage or signature of delivery receipt

The Tribunal may not see a legal notice as being received if you don't do this.

Your options

Landlords and tenants should agree to contact each other by one of the following options:

  • by email, using an agreed email address
  • paper letter, which can either go in the post (recorded delivery) or be given by hand (in person)

Choosing email

Landlords and tenants should decide if email is the best way to send notices to each other. If email isn't often checked, something like a legal notice might be missed.

If you agree to send things by email, a legal notice can be seen as being received if it's sent to the email address you have previously agreed. This means that if a tenant changes their email address, but does not tell their landlord, they might still be seen as having received a legal notice.

Extra time added to email and post options

When a legal notice is sent by email or recorded delivery post, an extra 2 days must be added to allow time for delivery.

This applies both when a tenant is sending a notice to their landlord, or when a landlord is sending a notice to their tenant.

Example timescale

If three months' notice needs to be given for a rent increase to take place on the 31 August, you would use the following timescale:

  • by recorded delivery post or by email — the Rent Increase Notice should be posted or emailed to the tenant no later than 28 May
  • by hand — the Rent Increase Notice should be handed to the tenant no later than 30 May
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