Advice for landords

Being a landlord and renting out property can often seem appealing. But there are a number of rules and regulations that you must follow to ensure that you comply with all the current legislation.

Initially you will need to decide between the managed and self-managed options. Several of our member firms can help you if you decide to opt for the managed route.

The full management service

A letting agent service can handle all aspects of the letting process for you. The full management service is a comprehensive package which handles the full responsibility of letting the property for you.

Alternatively, a let-only service is often available from agencies and will help secure you tenants but leave you to the on-going management of the property.

The self-managed route

The self-management option requires time and effort to ensure that you know your rights and responsibilities, as well as those of your tenants. It can be time consuming, however should not be overly complex.

There are a number of legal responsibilities that you must complete as a landlord.

1. Tenant information packs

This is a standardised pack which tells tenants about the property condition, tenancy agreements and the rights and responsibilities of all parties.

2. Landlord registration

This is done via the Scottish Government website www.landlordregistrationscotland.gov.uk.

3. Tenancy deposit scheme

All deposits from tenants must be placed in one of the Scottish deposit schemes.

4. Gas and electrical safety certificates

All rental properties need an annual gas certificate, an annual Portable Appliance Test (PAT) for all electrical appliances, and an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) which should be done at least every three years.

5. Smoke alarms

Hard-wired smoke alarms should be placed in: the main living room, every circulation space such as hallways and landings, a heat alarm in the kitchen. All alarms should be interlinked.

6. Carbon monoxide alarm

A carbon monoxide alarm fitted, with an integrated long life battery, must be fitted in each space that has a boiler, fire heater or stove. 

7. HMO licence

Properties with three or more unrelated tenants living together must have an HMO licence to ensure that certain fire safety requirements have been met.

8. Insurance

All properties must be fully insured for both buildings and landlords’ contents.

9. Energy Performance Certificate

An EPC must be provided for each property.

10. Legionnaires disease

A risk assessment for legionella must be carried out on all rented properties.

Copyright © SPC Scotland 2018