Guide

Renting property from a private landlord
Last updated: 30 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're signing a tenancy agreement for a new tenancy, you should be told that you're signing up to a 'private residential tenancy'. Any new tenancy that started on or after 1 December 2017 is a private residential tenancy. Find out more about private residential tenancies on gov.scot.

You may hear about other types of tenancy, like assured, short assured or regulated. It's no longer possible to create one of these tenancies. If you have an assured or short assured tenancy which started before 1 December 2017, this can continue to renew until either you or your landlord bring it to an end.

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 does not have to be.

The Scottish Government has created a model tenancy agreement which landlords can use for a private residential tenancy.

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 (or their letting agent's) are included
  • the rent in the agreement is correct, and whether you're expected to pay it monthly or weekly
  • it states the reasons why the landlord can take money off your deposit
  • it says what type of tenancy it is
  • if it's a renewal of a short assured or assured tenancy, that the length of the lease is what you agreed – normally 6 or 12 months

You and your landlord can agree to sign a digital copy of your private residential tenancy agreement and send it by email rather than printing it out and posting it. In most cases, you will be able to do this by opening the document, typing your name where you need to sign, and returning this to your landlord by email.
You should keep a record of emails you send to and get from your landlord. This includes emails about your tenancy agreement.