Renting property from a private landlord
Last updated: 20 March 2019

Signing the tenancy agreement

Before you move into the property, you may need to sign a tenancy agreement.

This is a document that lays out the terms of your tenancy and a set of rules that both you and your landlord should follow.

If you have a private residential tenancy (a tenancy that started on or after 1 December 2017), your landlord must give you all of the terms of your tenancy in writing. In most cases this will come as a tenancy agreement, but it doesn't have to be.

When you sign a tenancy agreement, check it to make sure:

  • it's for the address you're moving into
  • your landlord's contact details are included
  • the rent in the agreement is correct, and whether you're expected to pay it monthly or weekly
  • the length of the lease is what you agreed – normally 6 or 12 months
  • it states the reasons why the landlord can take money off your deposit
  • it says whether it's an assured or short assured tenancy – the main difference is it's easier for the landlord to get the property back if it's a short assured tenancy

The Scottish Government website has an online tool landlords can use to create a private residential tenancy agreement.