A helpful guide for all landlords renting out properties in Scotland.
It is important to note that the duties and obligations listed below are not exhaustive and you should seek independent legal advice for the full range of duties with which you must comply with.
- Tenancy Agreement This contract ensures all rights and responsibilities agreed beyond those prescribed by law are as clear as possible. As of December 2017 the Private Residential Tenancy (PRT) replaced the Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) for all new lets. Existing assured tenancies will remain in place until terminated..
- Tenant References Referencing should be carried out for each tenant. This usually includes confirmation of the tenant’s basic information, previous or current employment details, addresses, bank statements and references from the current landlord.
- Rental Payment Set Up It is recommended to collect the first month’s rent in advance alongside any deposit, and to confirm that subsequent rental payments have been set up.
- Professional Clean A deep clean of the property prior to the move in of new tenants is recommended, especially areas such as the tub, toilet, stove, and refrigerator.
- Check-in Inventory It is important to carry out an inventory before and after a tenancy to ensure that all items contained within the property and their condition are accounted for. It also lessens the chances of a deposit dispute further down the line.
- Landlord Registration Landlords must register with every local authority area where they rent out a property. https://www.gov.uk/registration-for-private-landlords-scotland
- Repairing Standard Landlords must carry out a pre-tenancy check of their property to identify work required to meet the Repairing Standard and notify tenants of any such work. https://www.mygov.scot/landlord-repairs/repairing-standard/
- Gas Safety Certificate The certificate must be provided by a Gas Safe engineer within the past 12 months in order to be valid. You don't need a new certificate per tenant, but you do need to renew it every 12 months.
- Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) EPCs assess the energy efficiency and carbon dioxide emissions of your property with potential figures it could achieve. Any house that is rented requires a valid EPC. They are valid for 10 years and then the property needs to be reassessed for a new certificate. If energy efficiency improvements are made to the property, you can apply for a new EPC to achieve a better grade.
- Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) Landlords are required to ensure that regular electrical safety inspections are carried out by a competent person, and that anything that fails to pass the inspection is replaced or repaired immediately. As a minimum, an electrical safety inspection must be carried out before a tenancy starts, and during the tenancy at intervals of no more than five years from the date of the previous inspection. A copy of the most recent electrical safety inspection reports must be provided to both new and retained tenants.
- Deposit Protected Any deposit you receive must be secured in a tenancy deposit scheme. There are three Government approved schemes – The DPS, The Dispute Service and MyDeposits.
- Deposit Certificate You must give a copy of the deposit protection certificate to the tenant's and any third parties that have contributed to the deposit, within 30 days.
- Deposit Prescribed Information This is a requirement of the tenancy deposit protection scheme. Once the deposit is secured, you must provide certain information about the deposit and where it has been secured to tenants either as part of the Tenancy Agreement or on a separate form. The scheme that you secured your deposit with will have more information on this.
- Smoke alarms Private rented sector landlords in England with single tenanted properties (e.g. NOT Houses in Multiple Occupation) are required, from 1 October 2015, to install smoke alarms on every floor, and check that each prescribed alarm is in proper working order on the day the tenancy begins.
- Carbon Monoxide Alarms Private rented sector landlords in England with single tenanted properties (e.g. NOT Houses in Multiple Occupation) are required, from 1 October 2015, to install a carbon monoxide alarm in every room where solid fuel appliances are contained, and check that each prescribed alarm is in proper working order on the day the tenancy begins.
- Fire Resistant Furniture All furniture a landlord provides must be fire resistant. Furniture must meet the fire resistance requirements in the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988.
- Water Systems Checks All water systems require an assessment of the risk of contaminants such as legionnaires disease. This can be carried out by landlords themselves or any other competent person. Health and safety legislation requires that risk assessments for the Legionella bacteria which cause Legionnaires’ disease are taken. The assessments must identify and assess potential sources of exposure, and steps taken to prevent/control any risk that is identified.