Important Information for Landlords
The below information is taken from Government Guidelines on new tenancies. More information is available at:https://www.gov.scot/publications/easy-read-notes-scottish-government-model-private-residential-tenancy-agreement/pages/notes-for-mandatory-clauses/
The landlord must ensure that the property is in the condition, and has the facilities, set out in the Repairing Standard.
If the property is not in that condition, or does not have any of those facilities, the tenant or the local council can apply to the Tribunal to tell the landlord to do what is needed.
The Repairing Standard means:
- The property must be wind and water tight and in all other respects fit for people to live in. For example, there should not be any gaps between window or door frames and walls or any missing roof slates or tiles, which result in wind or rain getting into the property.
- The structure and exterior (including drains, gutters and external pipes) must be in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order. For example, walls must be in a reasonable condition, as must roofs so as to avoid water leaking through the roof into the property.
- Installations for water supply, gas and electricity and for sanitation, heating and heating water must be in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order.
- Pipes, tanks, boilers, meters and cables, toilets, radiators and other heaters - must all be in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order.
- Any fixtures, fittings and appliances that the landlord provides under the tenancy must be in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order. Appliances include, for example, kitchen and laundry equipment such as cookers, microwave ovens, fridges and freezers, washing machines, tumble dryers, kettles, toasters and the like.
- Any furnishings (such as chairs, settees and beds) that the landlord provides under the tenancy must be capable of being used safely for the purpose for which they are designed. One thing that this will mean is that they meet fire retardant standards (see Note 18.8 - Furnishings).
- The property must have a way (such as smoke alarms wired to the mains electricity supply - not battery powered) of detecting fires and for giving warning in the event of a fire or suspected fire. (The Scottish Government guidance on this is found at https://www.gov.scot/publications/fire-safety-guidance-private-rented-properties/
- The property must have a way to warn if carbon monoxide is present in a concentration that is dangerous for people. (The Scottish Government guidance on this is found at https://www.gov.scot/publications/carbon-monoxide-alarms-in-private-rented-properties-guidance/)
Since 30 April 2006, all private landlords in Scotland are required to register with the local authority (or authorities) where they are or will be renting out property. It is a criminal offence to rent out your property without having submitted a valid application for registration.
Your registration will be valid for three years from the date the local authority approves your application. After three years, you will be required to apply to renew your registration.
To register your property, please contact your local authority or register it online at https://www.ros.gov.uk/our-registers/scottish-landlord-register
As a landlord it is your duty to ensure that:
- Gas fittings, including flues and pipework are maintained and safe.
- All installations, maintenance and safety checks are carried out by a Gas Safe Registered contractor
- A Gas Safety Check is carried out annually.
A copy of the current safety check certificate is issued to each existing tenant within 28 days of the check being completed, or to any new tenant before they move in.
These regulations set new levels of fire resistance for domestic upholstered furniture, furnishings and other products containing upholstery. The regulations include sensible measures to improve the fire safety of materials used in their construction. Effective 1st March 1993, landlords letting residential property will be expected to ensure that any soft furniture complies with the regulations. The main provisions are:
- Upholstered articles (i.e. beds, sofas, armchairs etc.) must have fire resistant filling material
- Upholstered articles must have passed a match resistance test or, if of certain kinds (such as cotton or silk) be used with a fire resistant interliner.
- The combination of the cover fabric and the filling material must have passed a cigarette resistance test.
The regulations apply to:
- Beds, headboards of beds and mattresses
- Sofa-beds, futons and other convertibles
- Nursery furniture
- Garden furniture which is suitable for use in dwelling
- Scatter cushions and seat pads
- Loose and stretch covers for furniture
- Extra or replacement furniture purchased for rented accommodation
If a property is occupied by three or more unrelated persons, it is classified as a "House in multiple occupancy" or HMO for short. A mandatory government licensing scheme is in place for such properties, enforcing stringent fire regulations.
HMO Properties are subject to additional regulations and certification including a Fire Risk Assessment, Fire Fighting Equipment Certificate, Smoke Alarm Certificate and Emergency Lighting Certificate. There are also obligations on the tenants to accurately update log books.
KPM are specialists in managing HMO properties, with vast experience in HMO Licencing, maintaining the property to a safe standard and carrying out regulation Fire-Safety certification with routine property inspections. We are trusted managing agents for a number of HMO properties, having proven our expertise in managing them in line with regulations.
The Letting Agent Code of Practice (Scotland) Regulations 2016 is a statutory code of practice set in place by the government to ensure that letting agents are conducting themselves in a fair and reasonable manner to both landlords and tenants.
We encourage everyone to review the regulation, available at https://www.legislation.gov.uk/sdsi/2016/9780111030912 and we welcome any feedback or concerns you may have.