Information on how to find privately rented housing including advice and support for existing private tenants.
East Renfrewshire is a popular place to live, with many people are competing for a limited number of homes. This is especially so in the Eastwood part of the authority which includes Giffnock, Thornliebank, Clarkston, Newton Mearns, Busby and Eaglesham.
This high demand for housing has an impact on the costs of both renting and buying. Private rents are at a level that many people find difficult to afford and private landlords can be particular about who they rent to. It is important to ensure that you are able to afford to rent privately, either from your own resources, or from the amount you will receive in benefit if you are not working.
What is Private renting?
Private renting is when you rent a property from a landlord or a company, usually on a commercial basis, or an agent acting on behalf of a landlord.
The amount of rent you pay will be set by your landlord as part of the legal contract between you. This legal contract constitutes a tenancy agreement. The tenancy agreement sets out the rights and the responsibilities of both the landlord and the tenant. These include items such as:
- how and when you must pay the rent, and
- how your landlord will deal with repairs
Renting privately is different from social housing where the property is owned by a council or a housing association. Your tenancy will be for at least 6 months to start with. This is known as the fixed term of your tenancy. Your tenancy will normally be either a short-assured tenancy or an assured tenancy.
A short assured tenancy is a special form of assured tenancy which in the first instance must be for not less than 6 months. It gives a landlord special rights to repossess the house and also gives special rights for tenants to apply to a Private Rented Housing Committee for a rent determination.
You can find further information on privately rented tenancies in the Scottish Government: Tenant Information Pack.
Private rented properties are one of two types: Either, the whole property, for example, a house. It could also be a part property, such as a flat rented to you or your family. Such a property may be:
- fully furnished, with everything you would need.
- part-furnished, with only the main items included.
- unfurnished, with nothing at all included.
When you are considering a private let, check whether the property has carpets, curtains, a cooker, a fridge and a washing machine. You should ensure that the landlord or letting agent completes an inventory which details everything included. Ask for a copy of this inventory.
The other type of property which may be offered for rent is a shared tenancy. Shared properties are usually furnished, and often have a shared kitchen, lounge and bathroom. This type of arrangement usually provides a separate bedroom for each sharer.
What is included with the rent?
If you are renting a flat or a house, bills are not usually included. As well as the rent, you will have to pay:
- council tax
- water rates
- gas and electricity bills
- phone and internet charges
- household contents insurance
In shared properties, some or all of the bills may be covered within the rent charge - make sure you ask your landlord what is included. It is important that you ask for a written explanation of all costs involved before you sign and paperwork or a tenancy agreement.
Things to remember when renting privately
Prospective tenants should always look for the Landlord's registration number and detail of Energy Performance Certificates in any written adverts, as private landlords have a duty to provide this information. Always make sure you check this information.
You can find more information on Scottish Government: Landlord Registration here, and on Scottish Government: Energy Performance Certificates here.
Under One Roof
A new website: Under One Roof was launched on 21 September 2016. The website has been set up as part of Scottish Government's Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design in association with the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland in order to provide advice and information to owners of all types of common property.