The introduction of the Private Residential Tenancy (PRT) in December 2017 has led to major changes in the industry in Scotland, but many landlords north of the border are falling foul of the new rules, according to the Govan Law Centre.
The PRT means that private residential tenancies are open-ended, rent can only be increased once every 12 months with three months’ notice, the landlord must give at least 84 days’ notice to leave if a tenant has lived in a property for longer than six months, and a simpler ‘notice to leave’ process is now in place.
But a report by the Govan Law Centre calls into question the competence of landlords or disregard by landlords to adhere to the new requirements with the new type of tenancy.
Several reports show that rents in Scotland are rising faster than inflation, particularly in Glasgow and Edinburgh, but not all landlords appear to be following the rules for rent increases, resulting in harsh consequences for tenants, leaving some with a tough choice of moving out of their home or finding other ways to pay the inflated rent.
Wendy Malloy, PRS co-ordinator at the Govan Law Centre, commented: “We can evidence that rent increases being implemented during lets are having a serious impact on household financial sustainability, and increasing the risk of homelessness.
“A lot of the time these increases are being done without proper legal notice being served and with tenants simply accepting they have to pay”.
“We are seeing many households struggle with arrears and we are providing legal advice and representation in these circumstances. We believe this highlights the need to get the message out to people that there is a formal process in place for increasing rents and mechanisms to appeal should the tenant disagree with the proposed increase.”