The Private Residential Tenancy (PRT) hit its 18-month anniversary on Saturday, having come into force on 1st December 2017. With information from the Scottish Government, we've rounded up some frequently asked questions about this relatively new type of tenancy in Scotland.

Can a landlord put a fixed term or end date on a PRT?

No. PRTs are open-ended, with no fixed-term period and no end date. Landlords are no longer able to regain possession of their property because a fixed term has ended - instead they have to use 18 new grounds for repossession.

If a landlord has put something in a tenancy agreement that contradicts what the law says about PRTs, a tenant can take a case to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber).

Can a landlord increase the rent at any time during a PRT?

A landlord will only be able to increase a tenant's rent once in a 12 month period, and must give the tenant at least three months' advance notice ahead of the increase.

If a tenant believes an increase is unreasonable, they can refer it to a rent officer for rent adjudication. The referral to the rent officer must be done within 21 days of receiving the rent increase notice.

What notice does a LANDLORD have to give to end a PRT?

If a landlord wants to end a PRT, then there are different periods of notice depending on how long a tenant has been living at the property and what ground is being used:

- If the tenant has lived in the property for six months or less, then the notice period is 28 days, regardless of the repossession ground used.
- If the tenant has lived in the property for longer than six months and the landlord is not using a conduct ground, then the notice period is 84 days.
- If the tenant has lived in the property for more than six months, and the landlord is using one of the six conduct grounds, the notice period is 28 days.

The notice period starts from the day the tenant receives the notice; this is assumed to be 48 hours after the landlord has sent it. The landlord will not be able to make an application to the tribunal until the day after the notice period expires.

What notice does a TENANT have to give to end a PRT?

If a tenant wants to end the tenancy, they must give the landlord 28 days' notice in writing. The notice has to state the day on which the tenancy is to end, normally the day after the notice period has expired.

A tenant can agree a different notice period, after the start of the tenancy, with their landlord as long as it is in writing. If a landlord inserts a longer notice period into a tenancy agreement before the tenant starts living in the let property, the notice period will be invalid and the 28 day notice period will apply.

If a tenancy started before 1st December 2017 it is probably an assured or short assured tenancy instead of a PRT. These have different notice periods.

What happens if a tenant is still on an old Short Assured Tenancy?

Any short assured or assured tenancy which existed before 1st December 2017 will continue until either the tenant or landlord brings it to an end.

It is possible under the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 for a tenant to agree with their landlord or letting agent that their tenancy will convert to a PRT, however there is no requirement for a landlord or letting agent to agree to this.

For further information on PRTs, including other useful links, click here.