Guidance on Landlord Legislation
We have summarised current legislation relating to rented property in Scotland below and would be happy to arrange for any of the compliance requirements to be put in place for your property. Just call us for further information.
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Private Residential Tenancy (PRT)
All residential tenancies where the property will be the tenants main residence, created after 1st December 2017, are known as a Private Residential Tenancy, (PRT) These supersede the Short Assured Tenancy (SAT) which are still valid for tenants where they lived in the property before the PRT’s began. The new style of lease is designed to reduce the complicated paperwork involved in the previous SAT and to provide more safeguards for tenants.
Any property owner in Scotland seeking to let out their property must submit an application with Landlord Registration Scotland. Their property can be marketed whilst the application is pending and the registration requires to be renewed every 3 years for each owner.
Energy Performance Certificates – EPC
Before you advertise your property to let you must also obtain an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This must be displayed in the property prior to marketing and remain in-situ although it’s quite acceptable for it to be hung up inside a cupboard. These certificates last for ten years and if you have a home report for your property then an EPC will be contained within that report and may be utilised within the rented property. However the Scottish government is slowly introducing minimum ratings for rented property. Grants may be available for improvements to improve your EPC rating and this would require an updated EPC once work has been completed.
Gas Testing and safety provisions
Landlords must have a Landlord gas safety inspection report carried out prior to leasing a property. This must be obtained from a (Gas Safe) registered plumbing engineer and the certificate requires annual replacement. Once your appliances have been checked and found safe the engineer will issue a Landlord’s copy of the certificate and one for the tenants which should be kept in the property. In addition, a Carbon Monoxide detector must be installed when a gas appliance is fitted, including replacement boilers. We also recommend the boiler is serviced at the annual check.
The Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 require all Landlords to have a fixed wiring report (Electrical Installation Condition Report – EICR) carried out on their rental properties every 5 years (or less if indicated by the electrician).
The EICR must also include a Portable appliance test (PAT) which is required to be provided by the Landlord on all appliances provided within the tenancy. Anything with a movable and fitted plug, including fridges and washing machines, should be included in this testing. The Act advises that PAT checks are carried out frequently, although it is only mandatory for them to be carried out at least every five years, or more if advised by the electrician. Our Agency recommends to all our clients that we continue to carry out PAT checks annually to ensure the safety of our tenants and meet good practice guidelines for the industry.
An EICR may highlight risks within the property, and if this is the case, these risks would have to be attended to in accordance with the electrician’s advice, to ensure that the property can be tenanted under the Repairing Standards, as noted below.
Legionella Risk Assessment
A risk assessment must be carried out on all property that is let and it must be regularly reviewed. It must be compiled by a ‘competent person’ with the necessary specialist knowledge and action taken where recommended to ensure compliance with the legislation.
All upholstered furniture must meet current regulatory requirements. These detail how quickly an item will ignite in the event of a fire.
Any furniture purchased or reupholstered after 1990 will comply with current legislation and will have a permanent label attached to it stating ‘Carelessness causes fire’.
Smoke and Heat Safety Provisions
Smoke detectors must be installed in any property made available for rent. Generally there must be one per floor, one per room that is frequently used by the occupant for general daytime living purposes, one for each circulation space ie halls and landings, one heat alarm in the kitchen and they should all be interlinked. However additional provision may be required in larger properties and it should be noted that mains wired smoke detectors may require Building Warrant.
In addition, a fire blanket should be installed in the kitchen area.
Further information will be provided where necessary once we have inspected your property.
The Repairing Standard 2006
Rented property must meet the repairing standard. A house meets this standard if:
- the house is wind and watertight and in all other respects fit for human occupation.
- the structure and exterior of the house (including drains, gutters, and external pipes) are in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order.
- the installations in the house for the supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation, space heating and heating water are in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order.
- any fixtures, fittings and appliances provided by the landlord under the tenancy are in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order.
- any furnishings provided by the landlord under the tenancy are capable of being used safely for the purpose for which they are designed.
- the house has satisfactory provision for detecting fires and for giving warning in the event of fire or suspected fire.
HMO’s Houses in Multiple Occupation
Further information available on request.