The rules of rental –
Scotland leads with legislation




Scotland’s rental market is more tightly regulated than anywhere else in the UK. New rules came into force in December 2017 that introduced a raft of changes designed to protect both landlords and tenants, but negotiating the regulations has caused a headache for some property owners.


The new legislation was designed to root out unscrupulous landlords and set down clear guidelines for tenancy contracts, disputes and eviction processes. Clan Gordon manages more than 500 properties across Edinburgh, and its portfolio has been steadily growing since the changes came into effect.


Clan Gordon was founded in 2007 by brothers Andrew and Jonathan Gordon.  The brother had both suffered at the hands of other property management firms and wanted to create a more bespoke and customer-focused service for landlords and tenants – long before the Scottish Government looked at introducing laws to enforce standards of practice.


In the past couple of years, they have been approached by a growing number of landlords who want professional help to let their properties, ensuring they comply with the new rules and don’t fall foul of the law.


The company offers a complete service, from property acquisition to lettings and management and has the knowledge and experience to put landlords’ minds at rest now their obligations are written in law.


Scotland was the first country in the UK to introduce sweeping changes to the private rental market, replacing the assured and short assured tenancy agreements with the private residential tenancy for all new agreements after 1 December 2017.


Amongst a number of rules, under the 2017 legislation :


  • Tenants have indefinite security of tenure, so contracts have no end date and ‘no-fault’ evictions are not possible
  • Tenants who have been in a property for more than six months must receive at least 84 days’ notice unless they are at fault (longer just now due to Covid)
  • A model tenancy agreement is provided for landlords to use as a template or you can create your own as long as you include the mandatory clauses
  • A specialist tribunal handles disputes between landlords and tenants


Letting agents themselves are now governed by legislation too and are required to join the Scottish Government’s Register of Letting Agents and comply with a Letting Agent Code of Practice.


Some may also be required to meet the regulatory requirements of other bodies such as the Financial Conduct Authority and Law Society of Scotland and may have to comply with other codes of practice if they are registered with other voluntary or industry bodies.

It is an offence for letting agents to work if they are not on the register unless they applied before 1 October 2018, and their application has yet to be processed. The Scottish Government manages the register, and a letting agent must pass a fit and proper person test to be accepted.

You’ll find Clan Gordon in the search area of the register here. For advice and information about letting your property, or if you’re looking for somewhere to rent, call 0131 555 4444 or check out our website

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