If you are the landlord of a privately rented property there are legal obligations you must abide by. You must:
- apply for a licence or registration
- seek permission from your mortgage provider and your insurer prior to renting the property
- ensure that your property is in a good state of repair and meets the tolerable and repairing standards
- ensure that your property meets the relevant gas, furniture and furnishings, electrical and water safety regulations
- tenancies created after 1 December 2017 must be 'Private Residential Tenancies'. You can no longer create 'Assured Tenancies' or 'Short Assured Tenancies.'
- give your tenant all the terms of their tenancy in writing (you can create a free Scottish Government model tenancy agreement online)
- pay any deposit taken (which can be a maximum of 2 months’ rent) into a registered tenancy deposit scheme.
Find more information in our Checklist for Private Landlords (PDF, 400kb).
Our scheme of assistance provides information, advice and practical support to help repair, maintain, improve or adapt homes.
Pre-Tenancy Support Service
In 2019, A Pre-Tenancy Support Service for landlords was introduced, to provide free property inspections and tenancy agreement advice, which acts as a preventative approach to future property condition issues.
This Scheme is designed to help landlords get the best from their properties and make sure that they comply with the necessary legislation.
- Carry out a pre-tenancy Repairing and Tolerable Standard inspection;
- Give advice on what safety certificates you need;
- Signpost you to standard tenancy agreement templates;
- Give you information on how to find the right tenant for you; and
- Answer questions on what you need to do when setting up a new tenancy
For more information email email@example.com
Private Sector Matters
We compile a Landlords Private Sector Matters magazine twice a year. It focuses on issues specific to landlords. Our Spring 2021 Edition is now available.
The Private Sector Advice Team also provides private sector information and guidance to:
- private tenants
This covers a range of private sector housing matters including property condition and tenant rights and responsibilities.
Standards of repair
Private rented accommodation must meet certain standards of repair before it can be legally let out. Find information in our: The Repairing Standard in Scotland – A Brief Guide (PDF, 303kb)
The Tolerable Standard
To be acceptable as living accommodation a house must meet certain standards of repair. This is known as the Tolerable Standard.
Our Empty Homes Loan Fund offers interest free loans to bring empty properties back into the affordable rented sector.
Home2Fit allows you to advertise your property, for sale or to rent, highlighting its accessibility features and adaptations.
A private tenant, with a disability, should be able to make physical changes to their home to make it meet their needs. For more information, see our leaflet on Adapting Private Rented Property (PDF, 1.49mb).
Dealing with the death of a tenant
The death of a tenant can place a number of responsibilities upon a landlord including:
- liaising with any police investigations
- ensuring that cleaning and repairs are undertaken
- allowing relatives of the tenant access to the property to retrieve possessions
More information can be found in, Dealing with the sudden death of a tenant – Advice for private landlords (PDF, 4.47mb)
The Tenement Management Scheme
If you own a flat within a tenement, your responsibilities in relation to the maintenance and upkeep of common areas are usually detailed in your title deeds. If not, the Tenement Management Scheme may help. This allows you and your fellow owners to work together as a group and identify areas of shared responsibility. More information can be found in our leaflet: Common Repairs - The tenement management scheme (PDF, 2.7mb).
Properties that are let, residentially or commercially, are considered as a business. Waste produced as a result of this business is classed as commercial waste and cannot be taken to any of our Household Waste Recycling Centres. Landlords attempting to dispose of waste in this way risk being prosecuted.
Under section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, landlords renting property have legal obligations, including Duty of Care, to ensure that all waste arising from lettings is legally disposed of. Failure to comply is an offence and could lead to prosecution.
Landlords and agents must:
- ensure the correct bins are supplied with their properties
- ensure tenants dispose of waste appropriately
- remove any waste that tenants leave behind by using a registered waste removal company.
Landlord waste is defined as:
- any waste generated from improvements, repairs or alterations
- waste that is left after a tenant leaves a property
- discarded fixtures and fittings that have been supplied as part of the terms of a lease
- all waste that is removed on behalf of a tenant, rather than being disposed of by the tenant.
Landlords can legally dispose of waste by:
- contacting the council to arrange a collection (this will be chargeable)
- setting up a commercial waste agreement with a licensed waste contractor
- taking the waste to a licensed facility, such as a waste disposal company (this may require registering as a waste carrier, contact SEPA for guidance).
This information will also apply to tenants disposing of waste on behalf of landlords.
For more information, please see our Waste from Rental Properties guide (PDF, 207kb).
We hold landlord events twice a year. For the next meeting date, see the housing consultation events page.
Information on private renting, including rights and responsibilities, can be found on the Renting Scotland website.
Information can be found in our leaflet: Private Sector Advice - Support for all Housing Matters (PDF, 1.2mb).
Guidance on maintaining your property, including details of how to find a
qualified contractor, can be found on the Scottish Government website.
Under One Roof offers impartial advice on repairs and maintenance for flat owners in Scotland.