Short term rentals
This page explains what your rights are if you have a short-term insured rent with a real estate owner or agency.
If you have rented your home with a landlord or an agency, you probably have a short-term rent if:
Your rental started after January 2, 1989 and
- The place where you live is rented as a house, and
- It is your only and principal dwelling, and
- You have received a special notice (an AT5 form) before the rent began telling you that it is a short-term insured rent, and
- Your rental is for at least six months.
The Edinburgh City Hall has a sample of a short term secured rental agreement on their website if you’d like to take a look at how it can be. You do not have to rent the entire property, you may only rent a room or part of the property. Either way, if you are sharing the accommodation with your landlord , you are not in a short-term insured rental.
- What is an AT5?
- Rental agreements
- Deposit systems for rentals
- Information Packs for Renters
- What happens if my rent runs out?
- What if I want to leave the rent?
- Can my landlord enter my home without telling me?
- Repair rights
- Right to information
- Can I sub-rent my house or host a tenant?
- Can I pass on my rent to someone else?
- What happens to the rent if the tenant dies?
- What happens if my owner dies?
- What if I have a complaint?
- Can I have a rental of joint ownership insured?
What is an AT5?
An AT5 is a special notice that your landlord must provide if you want your rent to be short-term insured rather than an insured rental.
You must have an AT5 before moving to the property or it will not be a short-term insured rental. The form must be properly completed or it will not be official. If there is more than one tenant in the lease, each tenant must have a copy of the AT5. You can download a sample form AT5.
If you have not received an AT5 form stating that you have a short-term insured rent or your rental will last for less than six months, you probably have a secured rent .
You have the right to have a lease. The contract should:
- Indicate the length of time the rental will last.
- Indicate the amount of outstanding rent to be paid each month and when it should be paid.
- State whether the amount of rent can be increased and how the amount is to be calculated.
- Say who is responsible for the decoration and repairs of the interior and exterior of the property.
- Indicate if there is any condition or restriction when using the property.
- Indicate that you have the right to have a market price determined by the housing rental panel .
To these rights must be added that you also have responsibilities . If you do not fulfil them, you may have to face having your landlord expel you from the property.
Deposit systems for rentals
The owner or real estate agent must register your deposit with a deposit system for rentals within 30 business days from the start of your rental.
You have more information in this post: Rental deposit
Information Packs for Renters
If you are a new tenant, since May 2013, your landlord must give you a pack of information for tenants . The Tenant Information Pack provides information on the condition of property, rental agreements, and the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants.
If your landlord does not provide you with a tenant information pack at the start of your rental, you can be fined up to £ 500.
What happens if my rent runs out?
Your rental agreement will tell you how long you will be renting the property, for example, six months or a year. At the end of that time period, your rent will be automatically renewed unless:
- Give the landlord a written notice that you want to leave the property when the rental agreement comes to an end (check “I want to leave the property” below) or
- Your landlord gives you a written notice that you want to leave the property.
If your landlord has given you the news that you want to leave the rental, please look at the expulsion section .
If neither you nor the landlord have given any notice to leave the property, the contract will be renewed automatically. The duration of the renewal is the same as the previous time, unless your rental agreement says it will be of a different duration.
For example, if your lease says that the property “is leased for a period of six months and subsequently on a monthly basis. This will mean that your rental agreement will last for six months and will then be automatically renewed for a monthly rental after the initial rental time comes to an end.
If the rent was more than one year, it will only be renewed for the exact time of one year.
There is no need for a new AT5 form every time the rental is renewed.
What if I want to leave the rent?
Before you can leave the rent, you must give written notice to your landlord.
If you want to leave before the end of the rental date ends or you are in a period when the rental has been renewed, you must check if you can agree to abandon the rent before the end of the rental date. It should be specified in the rental agreement if you can do this and if it is, you must inform the way and conditions so you can carry it out and with as much notice as you have to notify the owner. If it is not mentioned in the rental agreement, you should be able to reach an agreement with your landlord. If this is not possible, you must give notice specifying that you want to leave the rental when it is finished.
The minimum time you should give notice of your intentions is (if the notice has not been notified in the lease) 40 days.
If you leave the property without leaving a notice, or before your ad runs out, you are still responsible for the property and rental income. If your landlord takes legal action against you for unpaid rents, you could be liable for any legal costs you have to pay.
Can my landlord enter my home without telling me?
No. Your owner can only access your home on the occasions when it has been agreed with you. There are special rules if the landlord needs to come in for repairs, or inspect the conditions in which the property is located.
He, or anyone acting on your behalf, must notify you at least 24 hours before they appear on the property. If you disagree that no one enters your home to take any action, the landlord can go to court to ask for an order that forces you to let them in.
Your landlord is responsible for maintaining the property in conditions that are safe and pleasant to live in and to ensure that the policy of repairs is met on the property. This is the basic level of repairs that is required by law. Your landlord should give you information about these repairs regulations and what you can do if your home does not meet these conditions. The section on repairs will explain this in more detail and explain what you can do if your owner refuses to carry them out.
If you want to carry out any of these actions at home, such as redecorating or installing a second telephone line, you must have permission from the homeowner first. Some lease agreements may include a clause explaining whether you can carry out this kind of action. Either way, you should always talk to the owner before doing something like that.
If you rented your furnished home you may find the Shelter Scotland website about furniture and equipment useful.
Right to information
If your rent is from a real estate agency or an agent, you have the right to have access to the information about who owns the property. Request your name and address from the agency in writing. You should receive this information within 21 days. It is a crime that the owner or the real estate agency does not give you this information. If the owner changes his address or name, you should have the new information before the day on which the rent must be paid within two months after the change.
Can I sub-rent my house or host a tenant?
Your rental agreement should explain if you can sub-rent part of your property. If it is not mentioned in your rental agreement, you should ask the landlord if you have permission to do so. Even if your rental agreement specifies that you can sub-rent your home, you should contact the tenant to discuss it with him.
Can I pass on my rent to someone else?
There may be a clause in your rental agreement that tells you if you can transfer your rent to another person. It is commonly known by the name of “assignment”. You can also explain what you need to do before performing that action.
If you cannot find this clause in your contract, you must have your landlord’s permission first.
What happens to the rent if the tenant dies?
If the tenant dies, you can take the rent if:
- The tenant was your husband, wife or partner.
- The tenant was someone who was living with you as a husband, wife, or domestic partner.
This is called succession.
There are some restrictions for a succession:
- You must have been living on the property as your sole and principal dwelling when the tenant died.
- The rent can only be transferred by succession once.
The landlord can ask the tenant to leave when the rent ends.
What happens if my owner dies?
If your landlord dies, the new landlord will have the terms of your rental agreement. This means that you will not be able to get expelled without a good reason (for example, you have not been paying the rent or because the rental deadline has expired), and it will not be possible to raise the monetary amount to pay for rent Unless you follow the proper procedures .
What if I have a complaint?
If you have a complaint about your landlord try to talk to him first or write him about the problem. If it does not work, ask for advice at a hostel, the Citizens Counseling Center, your local council or a counsellor in your local area. Use the Advisory Services Directory to find an agent in your area. Some town halls have a specialist in rental relationships that can be of help.
Can I have a rental of joint ownership insured?
It is possible to have a rental of co-ownership with other tenants, as long as one of you lives on the property as the main dwelling. However, it is up to your landlord to decide whether or not you can guarantee a rental of co-ownership.