Legal responsibilities

Topics

As a landlord there are a number of statutory requirements that you need to comply with.

Tenant information packs |  Landlord registration |  Tenancy Deposit Scheme |  Gas and electrical safety certificates | Smoke alarms |  HMO Licence |  Insurance |  EPC |  Legionnaires disease

Lettings legal requirements 887 x 300

ESPC help take the hassle out of letting by arranging many of these for you.  Call us on 0131 253 2847 or email landlord@espc.com to speak to the trusted name in property.

Tenant Information packs

The majority of landlords in Scotland are required to provide tenants with a tenant information pack as prescribed by The Scottish Government.   Failure to provide a tenant information pack is a criminal offence. If a landlord does not provide the pack, they can be fined up to £500.

The tenant information pack is a standardised pack which provides information to tenants in privately rented housing. It talks about property condition, tenancy agreements, and the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants.

Landlord Registration

This is done with the Scottish Government through its website www.landlordregistrationscotland.gov.uk.  All landlords must register themselves directly.  The ESPC Lettings registration number is as follows for each area:

City of Edinburgh: 338579/230/31301

Midlothian: 338579/290/13031

East Lothian: 338579/210/27541

Tenancy Deposit Scheme

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

Safe Deposit Scotland

My Deposits Scotland

Letting Protection Service

We will do all this for you to ensure you comply with the legislation.

Gas and Electrical Safety Certificates

All rental properties must have the following checks carried out to ensure they are safe for tenants:

  • Gas Certificate - all gas appliances must be checked on an annual basis and a certificate must be in place to show all appliances are safe for use
  • Portable Appliance Test (PAT) - all electrical appliances that are portable (e.g. toaster, washing machine) must be checked annually and a certificate provided to show that they too are safe for use
  • Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) - wiring and sockets must be checked on a regular basis and we recommend to our Landlords that this is carried out every three years.

Smoke Alarms

The property must have hard-wired smoke alarms and should adhere to the following:

  • One functioning smoke alarm in the room which is frequently used by the occupants for general daytime living purposes
  • One functioning smoke alarm in every circulation space, such as hallways and landings
  • One heat alarm in every kitchen
  • Alarms should also be interlinked

Houses in Multiple Occupation Licence (HMO)

Properties which have three or more unrelated tenants living together (typically 3+bed student properties) must have a HMO. These properties will need certain fire safety fittings and have to meet specific minimum requirements set out by the City of Edinburgh Council.

ESPC manages the HMO process in-house, whether it is a new application or renewal, so please contact us for more details.

Insurance

All properties must be fully insured for both buildings and landlords' contents.  The tenants are also advised to arrange insurance cover for their own belongings.

Energy Performance Certificate

All properties must have an EPC before the property is viewed by prospective tenants.  ESPC can arrange this for you and the certificate is valid for 10 years.

Legionnaires disease

It a legal requirement to have a risk assessment for legionella carried out in all rented properties.The risk assessment should identify any areas where legionella bacteria could grow and if treatment is required. In order to stay compliant, landlords should employ a “competent” person to conduct the risk assessment who is capable of making recommendations if a risk is identified.

Further information

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The Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) represents the interests of all landlords and letting agents throughout Scotland.  They provide information, training and advice to members.  Join SAL to keep up-to-date with what's happening the Scottish lettings industry.