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Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016

Landlords duties to provide information

21.Section 10 obliges a landlord to provide his or her tenant with a copy of the written terms of that person’s tenancy agreement if those terms are not already fully set out in writing. This will be relevant where a private residential tenancy has arisen from an oral agreement to create a tenancy, or where only some of the tenancy terms have been committed to writing.

22.Section 10 does not apply if the agreement between the parties is already in writing, even if it is not in formal writing and even if it is not expressed in a single document (for example, an exchange of emails may constitute written tenancy terms).

23.Where section 10 does apply, the landlord is required to give the tenant a document setting out all of the terms of the tenancy. This document must be given to the tenant no later than the day on which the private residential tenancy commences (assuming that the tenancy becomes a private residential tenancy immediately), or, if the tenancy only later becomes a private residential tenancy, within 28 days of its becoming one. A tenancy may convert to a private residential tenancy after the tenancy’s commencement if, for example, the tenant is initially using the let property as a second home, but later occupies it as his or her only or principal home.

24.The duty of landlords under section 10 is an on-going one. So if the terms of a tenancy subsequently change and the result is that the terms of the tenancy are no longer fully set out in writing, the landlord has to provide the tenant with a further document setting out the amended terms of the tenancy within 28 days of the change taking effect.

25.Section 11 gives the Scottish Ministers power to bring forward regulations to specify information that landlords must provide to their tenants and the timescales within which they must do so. Before making regulations under section 11, Ministers must consult persons representing the interests of tenants and landlords.

26.Section 12 allows the Scottish Ministers to make provision specifying how landlords are to perform their duty under section 10 and any duties to provide information imposed on them by regulations under section 11.

27.Section 13 prohibits a landlord from charging a tenant for the provision of a document setting out the tenancy’s terms (whether that document is produced under section 10 or not – and including any document amending the original terms). It also prohibits charging a tenant for information which is given in accordance with section 11. These prohibitions would apply equally where someone is acting on the landlord’s behalf (e.g. a letting agent).

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Scottish Government to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills.


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