The Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill was passed on the 17th March 2016 after three rounds of consultation.

There are many changes to current regulations in the bill and it's worth a read to keep up to speed with what is happening in the sector. The highlights of the bill include:

• Improved security for tenants, which means they cannot be asked to leave their home simply because their tenancy agreement has reached its end date;

• Comprehensive and robust repossession grounds which will enable a landlord to regain possession of their property in reasonable circumstances;

• The opportunity for local authorities to implement rent caps in areas where there are excessive rent increases;

• Moves to a more streamlined system with no confusing pre-tenancy notices and easier-to-understand model tenancy agreement.

The content of the bill has been much debated in Scottish Parliament and has had a considerable amount of input by various tenant and landlord groups, including some of our member organisations, the Scottish Association of Landlords, the Association of Residential Letting Agents, and the National Union of Students Scotland.

You can read more about the bill - including the bill as introduced then progression through Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3, and explanatory notes and other accompanying documents - on the Scottish Parliament website.

After a bill has been passed in this way, it receives royal assent to become an Act of the Scottish Parliament to become law. The Act will commence in stages starting later this year. The new regime will therefore not come into force until late 2017 at the earliest. Landlords and letting agents do not need to make any changes to their paperwork or procedures for the time being.