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Opinion of Scottish Legal Counsel received on Short Assured Tenancies

Wednesday 22 May 2019

ARLA Propertymark has sought Opinion of Counsel on the status of existing Short Assured Tenancies (SAT) following the Private Housing Tenancies (Scotland) Act 2016 coming into force.

It has been a source of concern for letting agents, whether on renewal, a SAT must become a Private Residential Tenancy (PRT) or whether it can continue indefinitely and whether a new contract can be issued and if so, how many times it can be renewed.

In the opinion of Advocate Adrian Stalker, a respected authority in housing law, existing SAT’s that were created prior to the 1 December 2017 remain as an SAT. New SAT’s can be created as often as required as long as the following parameters have been met.

Which are:

  • it must “come into being” at the end of an existing short assured tenancy;
  • it must be “of the same or substantially the same premises”
  • the new tenancy must have the same landlord and tenant.

For some landlords, this is a preferred option, providing additional flexibility. We are aware that some groups have been advising to the contrary or speculating that a Private Residential Tenancy can only be renewed once.  The opinion of legal counsel firmly contradicts this.

Daryl McIntosh, Strategic Development Manager Scotland and Northern Ireland, ARLA Propertymark says: “I am pleased to have received the Opinion from Counsel as this was always ARLA Propertymark's understanding of the regulations. Having been made aware that agents have been receiving advice contrary to the above, I trust this now clarifies the position."

 

 Opinion of legal counsel