If you are the landlord of a privately rented property there are legal obligations you must abide by. You must:
- register as a landlord
- ensure that your property is in a good state of repair
- check that gas and electrical appliances are safe to use
- seek permission from your mortgage provider and insurer to rent the property (check you will not be breaching the terms and conditions of your contract)
- provide the tenant with a tenancy agreement which must include:
- landlord's name and address
- length of tenancy
- tenant's name and the property they are renting
- rent to be paid and frequency
- letting agent details
- the notice a tenant must give before leaving
- the notice a landlord must give before taking eviction action
- any tenant responsibilities (eg garden maintenance)
- give the tenant an information pack which should detail tenant rights and responsibilities and must be signed for at the beginning of the tenancy (you may wish to include a property inventory and emergency contact details)
- pay the tenancy deposit into a registered deposit scheme (failure to do this is breaking the law and may result in a fine).
Find more information in our Checklist for Private Landlords (PDF, 566kb).
Private Sector Matters magazine
Our Private Sector Matters magazine (PDF, 6mb) is produced twice a year and focuses on issues specific to landlords. To suggest an item for the next edition email email@example.com.
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, 203kb)
To be acceptable as living accommodation a house must meet certain standards of repair. This is known as Tolerable Standard. We can provide information on the rights of tenants, the responsibilities of homeowners/landlords and possible sources of funding to bring properties up to Tolerable Standard. Find more information in The Tolerable Standard in Scotland – A brief guide (PDF, 2.54mb).
Interest free loans are available to bring empty properties back into the affordable rented sector. Eligible properties must require repair and/or upgrading works. Find more information in our leaflet: Empty Homes Loan Fund (PDF, 3.6mb).
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.