Special Report Aidan Crehan 18/12/2019

Scottish Tenancy Reform

The former Residential Landlords Association (RLA), now NRLA, worked closely with the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) on UK-wide issues to provide a common approach and share resources for the benefit of members.

The RLA conducted research – a survey of Scottish landlords and letting agents – regarding Scotland’s recent tenancy reform. Specifically:

  • The new Private Residential Tenancy regime
  • The introduction of a dedicated tribunal system which aims to provide landlords and tenants with a fast track to dispute resolution and expediate landlord possession where necessary.


In September 2019, the former RLA conducted a survey of Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) members to seek insight on the impact of tenancy and possession reforms on Scottish landlords. Specifically, the survey collected landlord and letting agent opinions of (i) the new Private Residential Tenancy regime and (ii) the introduction of a dedicated tribunal system.

Our survey sent to Scottish Association of Landlords members received 88 responses, almost entirely consisting of landlords and letting agents. 

Tenancy agreements and the tribunal system

Most landlords found the tenancies easy to complete and the on-line advice tools were widely seen as a positive. However – over half of respondents anticipate the new tenancies being difficult to enforce.

Amongst those who had made a claim to take back possession of a property: most agreed the new tribunal system was overall an improvement on the previous court system.

Yet many found it difficult to say the process was either quicker or more efficient that what had gone before. This may be a product of the difficulties faced by the system in dealing with an unanticipated surge in cases when introduced.


Respondents generally found the changes to be an improvement, and the accompanying resources useful and accessible.

Negative comments about the changes tended to be speculative concerns regarding the future effect on business. These could be resolved as the process improves and experience replaces perception.

However, the loss of Section 33 (the Scottish equivalent of Section 21 in England & Wales) may have a profound impact on the PRS in Scotland through a loss of housing supply as landlords move out of the sector.

RLA Scottish Landlords Survey

Last updated: 30/06/2020 at 11:28 - 666.01 KB


This post was written by Aidan Crehan, with additional comment by Nick Clay also of the NRLA. The views here are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of either the NRLA or SAL.