Tenancy agreements - landlords

Last updated: 21 May 2018

If you're renting out your property, it's your legal duty to give your tenant a written tenancy agreement. This tells the tenant all the terms of their lease.

Every short assured and assured tenancy agreement should include:

  • the name of the landlord and the name of the tenant
  • the address of the property being rented
  • the amount of rent to be paid
  • how long the lease is for
  • the type of tenancy it is – assured or short assured

Private residential tenancies

A new type of tenancy called a private residential tenancy has replaced assured and short assured tenancies. Every new tenancy from 1 December 2017 is a private residential tenancy as long as

A property can still be considered a separate dwelling even if some of its facilities are shared with other tenants. For example, if a tenant only rents a bedroom in a flat but can use a shared bathroom and kitchen, the property will be treated as a separate dwelling because the tenant has access to the facilities they need for it to be considered a separate dwelling.

The Scottish Government has developed a recommended Model Tenancy Agreement for the Private Residential Tenancy. Find out more about the Model Tenancy Agreement and how you can create tenancies online.

Assured and short assured tenancies created before 1 December 2017 can be continued beyond that date with your tenant's agreement. Find out more about types of tenancy.

A tenancy agreement should also give information on:

  • whether the tenancy is assured or short assured
  • whether the rent covers services (gas or electricity) and who's responsible for paying council tax (usually the tenant)
  • the date the rent should be paid, and how it should be paid (such as cheque or direct debit)
  • the amount of deposit to be paid and in what circumstances it won't be returned
  • who should be responsible for repairing and decorating the property
  • whether any furniture is provided
  • how much notice the tenant or landlord have to give to end the lease
  • whether lodgers or subletting are allowed
  • any other terms, like whether the tenant has to look after a garden, or whether they're allowed to keep a pet

Creating a tenancy agreement

You don't have to pay to get a tenancy agreement – you can make your own.

The Scottish Government has developed a recommended Model Tenancy Agreement for the private residential tenancy. Find out more about the Model Tenancy Agreement and how you can create tenancies online.

Your tenancy agreement should be written in easy to understand language and shouldn't include any unfair terms. You can't charge your tenant for providing written tenancy terms or any other information you're required by law to provide.

Unfair terms are conditions that aren't legally binding because they would affect the tenant's rights and responsibilities. These include:

  • making the tenant pay for any repairs that are your responsibility
  • saying it's up to you to decide whether the terms of the lease have been breached
  • banning your tenant from transferring the tenancy to someone else
  • allowing yourself to enter the property without giving notice
  • not making it clear that you have to get an order (from the Housing and Property Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal) before you can take possession of the property