Reminder – What Regulations Apply to my Rental Property in Scotland?

23 Feb 2018

Buy to Let PropertyThis is a little bit dry but safety first!! My blog this week is to remind everyone of what legislative requirements apply to a rental property in Scotland. Maybe you have bought your first buy to let property or maybe you have had a tenant in the property for years – managing it yourself – and are a bit out of date (shhhh, its OK, it happens!)

So what are the mandatory regulations as of right now – February 2018?

Absolutely essential is a landlords gas safety on all gas appliances in the property- that means ALL gas appliances in the property- even the old gas flame fire that no one uses! Any appliances that are not in use should be properly capped off by a qualified engineer. A Gas Safe engineer should check the appliances annually and provide a certificate which you must offer to tenants. Related to this are carbon monoxide detectors which should be fixed to a wall beside the appliances and there should be 1 detector for each appliance. These can be battery operated.

A mains operated interlinked smoke alarm system should be fitted in your rental property. A heat and/or smoke detector in the kitchen, smoke detector in the living room, in every hallway and in every other frequently used communal room, for example the second reception room, dining room or TV room.  Basically you can think of it as every room except bedrooms and bathrooms/utility rooms. If the property is over 2 levels the above rules must include one alarm on each level. The alarms must be mains operated with a battery back up.

An electrical safety test should be done by a qualified electrician every 5 years and they should provide a certificate (EICR) This tests that all the electrics in the property are safe to use and this should include a PAT (Portable Appliance Test) where appliances are provided by the landlord for tenant use. If the tenant brings in their own appliances the landlord does not need to test these.

Energy EfficiencyAll landlords need to market the property with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) which offers the tenant some guidance on how energy efficient the property is and gives them some idea of the anticipated energy bills they should expect. It also offers advice on ways to make the rental property more energy efficient. This report is valid for 10 years.

A legionnaire risk assessment must be offered to the incoming tenant documenting where within the property may be a high risk area of legionella bacteria developing. For clarity this is not an optional assessment, this is mandatory for all rental properties in Scotland. It is NOT a test for legionella bacteria, merely a risk assessment for the benefit of tenants. It does not matter how your water and heating comes in to the property, whether you have a mains fed boiler or not, this MUST be offered. The legislation advising on frequency of updating the risk assessment is not clear however 2/3 years has been suggested unless there is a change in the water tank, boiler, water feed.

All landlords in Scotland must be registered with the landlord registration unit. Each council runs a unit and all landlord have to register with the council their property falls within. The council charges £55 per landlord and £11 per property which registers landlords for 3 years.

There is a lot of legislation! And that doesn’t even get started on tenancy agreements..but that’s for another day! Make sure your property has all the above and you’ll know that you are on the right track to a long and happy relationship with your tenant!



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