In the current situation many of you will be concerned about your rights as a tenant in relation to contracts/lease agreements, cancellation policies, rent arrears and eviction.
Information and advice regarding these issues is changing constantly, however please see our page 'COVID-19 Accommodation Concerns', which should keep you informed on any up to date information and changes.
We also offer a lease checking service if you would like any advice before signing an agreement please email email@example.com
Shelter Scotland - Housing Information updates for private lets and general housing advice for all (including legislation changes and current government advice).
If you are having problems paying your rent, regardless of your type of accommodation, it is always a good idea to contact your landlord/agent/provider to discuss with them your difficulties and see what advice and support they can offer you.
If you are in purpose-built student accommodation (that is not run by the University) you should still contact your provider to discuss your circumstances and options but also check their websites for any updates on changes and advice.
For general tips and advice when renting privately and what to look out for in a lease agreement please see our Accommodation Guide.
General Housing Advice
- Safety Deposit Schemes: If you pay a deposit your landlord must put this in a deposit protection scheme for the duration of your tenancy. Your landlord must register this within 30 days of you paying your deposit. This means that when you do come to move out, you can appeal to the deposit scheme if you feel that your landlord has made any unfair deductions from your deposit.
- Illegal Fees: Remember; It is illegal for Landlords and Letting Agencies to take any non-returnable fees for you prior to renting, such as payment for credit checks, 'administration fees' or fees to secure the property - unless this is later to form part of your deposit. More information on this can be found at: http://www.reclaimyourfees.com/
- Repair & Maintenance: Landlords have an obligation to keep a property safe and in a good state of repair. Vermin, roof leaks and damp are not acceptable, and you should inform your landlord and ask them to deal with it. If vermin make an appearance after you move in, your landlord can hold you to account for it and may claim that you have left food around and have not kept the property clean.
- Allowing Access: You have the right to live in the property undisturbed. If your landlord requires access to the property, they must give you 24 hours written notice - whether it is to do repairs or to show prospective tenants around the property. They absolutely cannot let themselves in without notice unless there is an emergency such as burst pipes or a gas leak. On the other hand, as a tenant you are expected to provide reasonable access when requested.
- Eviction: If a landlord wishes to evict you, they must first obtain an eviction order from the court. After this, it is the court who decides whether there are grounds for eviction. If you landlord evicts by any other means, it is illegal. please see Shelter Scotland Advice Pages.
- Lease Agreements: When you move into the property, ensure that you have a copy of the written agreement or lease. If your landlord does not provide you with a written lease, then your lease is an unwritten one and you still have rights and obligations with regards to the property along with anything you have agreed verbally with your landlord.