All the obligations with which a Landlord in the private rented sector has to comply are becoming complex and although letting a residential property can provide useful income for the owner, great care must be taken to avoid breaching these rules and regulations. For properties that are let as a tenant’s only or principal home here are the key rules and regulations a landlord has to follow.
- Landlords must be registered with their local authority. It is an offence to own a property which is either let or to be occupied by an unconnected third party if you are not registered. A maximum fine of £50,000 can be imposed.
- An HMO licence is required if the property being let has three or more unrelated occupants.
- An energy performance certificate must be obtained before a landlord lets out a property which certificate will soon need to show that the property being let meets the required energy efficiency standards; the minimum requirements start coming into effect on 31 March 2020
- The property must comply with all the aspects of the repairing standard. https://www.mygov.scot/landlord-repairs/repairing-standard/ There are a number of obligations regarding gas and electrical safety, and the necessity of having smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. There are also, among others, regulations on the standard/safety of furniture and furnishings and electrical appliances.
- Tenancy deposits must be deposited in a tenancy deposit scheme. There are strict time limits for doing so and financial penalties for failure to comply. A deposit cannot exceed two months’ rent and no more than six months’ rent can be taken in advance.
- Landlords must manage their properties responsibly which means they must deal with any anti-social behaviour demonstrated by their tenants and deal with any local authority notices regarding anti- social behaviour or overcrowding statutory notices.
- Tenants are protected from harassment and wrongful eviction and terminating a tenancy correctly can be a complicated matter. Those with disabilities have certain rights regarding alterations to properties.
This is a list of the key regulations but not an exhaustive record of all the obligations of a private landlord.