Private Rented Sector - Landlord Responsibilities
If you are a private landlord or thinking about becoming a landlord in Scotland, there are a number of key responsibilities and things you must do before renting out your property.
If you are unsure, please seek legal advice on the requirements in your own particular circumstances.
Private Rented Sector Strategy in Scotland
A Place to Stay, A Place to Call Home, contains details of the Scottish Governments Private Rented Sector Strategy in Scotland, which sets out an agenda aimed at improving management standards and quality of service for tenants and prospective tenants.
Key Landlord Responsibilities
- Landlord Registration - private landlords must register with their local authority to ensure that minimum legal requirements are met.
- Tenancy Deposit Schemes - tenancy deposit schemes protect deposits until they are due to be repaid. Three schemes are now operating.
- Tenant Information Pack - landlords have a legal duty to provide new tenants with this pack, which provides important information to tenants in the private rented sector.
- Houses in Multiple Occupation - mandatory licensing applies to houses or flats occupied by three or more unrelated people who share bathroom or kitchen facilities.
- Repairing Standard - sets condition and maintenance standards which landlords must adhere to.
- Local Housing Allowance – Housing Benefit for tenants in private rented accommodation.
Summary of important legislation relating to the private rented sector:
- Rent (Scotland) Act 1984 - introduction of regulated tenancy regime; regulation on deposits; clarification of illegal premiums; and notice to quit regulation.
- Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 - landlord’s identity requirement; and serious disrepair regulation
- Housing (Scotland) Act 1988 - introduction of assured, and short assured, tenancy regime; tacit relocation; and change to notice to quit.
- Antisocial Behaviour etc (Scotland) Act 2004 - introduction of landlord registration regulation.
- Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 - Repairing Standard introduction; Housing in Multiple Occupation regime; Tenancy Deposit Scheme regulatory framework; landlord’s right of access; and right to adapt properties.
- Private Rented Housing (Scotland) Act 2011 - changes to the registration of private landlords; amendments to the Housing in Multiple Occupation licensing regime; introduction of Overcrowding Statutory Notices; and introduction of the Tenant Information Pack.
Private Residential Tenancy (Scotland) Act
The Scottish Government has launched a new website to allow landlords to create their own tenancy agreement.
The MyGov.scot website allows landlords to create tenancy agreements which contain clauses “required” under the new legislation as well as allow them to add or remove correctly drafted “optional” clauses as required. This will ensure that all new tenancies created with the website are fully compliant with the new rules.
Mandatory clauses cover matters such as tenancy deposits, repairing standard compliance and how to end a tenancy; with discretionary clauses ranging from utilities to common parts.
Landlord Property Safety Information and Guidance
Gas Safe Register - offers gas safety advice and can take action to ensure that gas appliances in private rented sector properties are safe. Further information is available on the Gas Safe Register website.
Tel: 0800 408 5500
Fire Safety - the Scottish Government issued a statutory guidance on provision for detecting and waring of Fires. Further information is available on the Scottish Government web site and is referenced in the Repairing Standard
Health and Safety Executive- provides a range of health and safety advice relating to landlords gas safety responsibilities. Further information is available on the Health and Safety Executive website.
- Private landlords are responsible for ensuring that an electrical safety inspection of their property is carried out by a registered electrician at least every five years.
- Electrical Safety First have produced a ‘Scottish Landlord Guide to Electrical Safety’ which is available for download from the Electrical Safety First website (opens in a new browser tab/window). This free guide explains the new legislation and what landlords and/or agents need to do.
- Further information is available on the Scottish Government website. Repairing Standard Advice Pack can also be found on the First Tier Tribunal.
- The Electrical Safety Council also provides electricity safety advice for the home. Tel: 0131 445 4690