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Private tenants - your rights and responsibilities

When you rent from a private landlord, it's important to be clear about what they are offering and what your responsibilities are.

As a private tenant you have the right to:

  • know the terms of the tenancy
  • know your landlord's name and address
  • expect a decent standard of repair and maintenance
  • proper notice if the landlord wants you to leave

You are responsible for making sure:

  • the rent is paid on time
  • the property is kept in the same condition it was in when it was first let (excluding general wear and tear)
  • fittings, fixtures and furniture (where supplied) and other contents are not damaged by misuse or negligence

Landlords need to be registered with us to make sure they are suitable to be letting property and to protect tenants from bad practice. For more information see our Landlord registration page.

Private tenants are protected by law against harassment and illegal eviction under the Rent ( Scotland ) Act 1984. It is a criminal offence for a landlord or agent or anyone else, such as a neighbour, to evict a tenant unlawfully without a court order, or to use harassment (such as threatening behaviour or turning off the water or electricity supply) to try to make them leave.

The law on illegal eviction and harassment applies to almost all people living in rented housing. This means that you are protected by the law whether or not you have a written tenancy agreement.

If you need advice on your private tenancy, call in at your local Q and A office.