Legal and safety implications to consider when preparing to let your property

Below you will find information on the legal and safety implications which you will have to consider before you can let your property.  Should you wish to discuss this further please contact us and we will be happy to arrange for an agent to meet you at the property for an in depth property appraisal.

Private Landlord Registration

In accordance with the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004), all private landlords letting properties in Scotland must have applied for registration in the register of landlords with their local authority.  You must prove to be a 'fit and proper landlord' in order for your application to be successful.  Further information can be requested from our office or can be found online at www.landlordregistrationscotland.gov.uk

Repairing Standards

Chapter 4 of Part 1 of the Housing (Scotland Act) 2006 will apply to the tenancy between landlord and tenant.  The landlord must ensure that the House meets the Repairing Standard at the start of, and at all times during, the tenancy.

In order for a house to meet the Repairing Standard, it must meet the following conditions:

Important Safety Regulations

It is a legal requirement that furniture and appliances provided by the landlord in a let property comply with the following safety regulations:

Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1994 (Amended 1996)

All gas appliances and installations in tenanted premises must be checked and certified as safe at intervals of not more than 12 months, by a Gas Safe registered engineer.  A valid safety certificate must be issued, a copy of which should be displayed in the property.  Records must be kept of the dates of inspections, defects identified, and of any remedial action taken.

Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994

All electrical installations and equipment in tenanted premises must be safe.  There is no statutory obligation to have professional checks carried out, however you should make a visual check to ensure that all electrical fittings, equipment and leads appear completely safe and undamaged, and arrange for a qualified electrician to rectify any faults which are discovered.

The Fire & Furnishings (Safety) Regulations 1988 (Amended  1989 & 1993)

Specified items supplied in the course of letting property must meet minimum fire resistant standards. The regulations apply to all upholstered furniture and furnishings including beds, headboards and mattresses, sofa-beds, pillows etc…  They do not apply to antique furniture or furniture made before 1950, bed clothes, loose covers for mattresses, pillowcases, curtains, carpets or sleeping bags.  Most items which comply will have a suitable permanent label attached, however if you are in any doubt please check with the manufacturer.

The Energy Performance of Building (Scotland) Regulations 2008

In order to comply with this legislation, any residential property will require an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) in place at the point of the first letting of the property after the 4th January 2009. This must be made available to prospective tenants from the date the property is marketed for letting.

Smoke Alarms

In accordance with the new Repairing Standards, all properties should have a satisfactory provision of smoke alarms. Depending on the size and layout of the property, there should normally be one smoke alarm on each floor. Although it is best practice to install mains powered smoke alarms, an existing smoke alarm may be mains powered or battery powered. However, a smoke alarm installed from 3 September 2007 onwards must be mains powered (including replacement alarms).

We are happy to inspect the property for you and arrange for the necessary safety checks to be carried out to ensure your property is safety compliant and in a condition to let.

Houses Of Multiple Occupancy (HMO’s)

There is legislation relating to properties occupied by 3 or more unrelated persons which requires that the property have an HMO Licence granted by the local authority before it may be let.  In order for the property to be granted an HMO Licence it will have to meet further safety requirements to those detailed above.  We will provide advice on the implications of these regulations for your property, if it is your intention to let it on such a basis.