Legal Requirements

Mired in a morass of regulation? Let us take over

The legal requirements for letting your property can be confusing and complex, both for existing and new landlords. With constantly evolving government sponsored legislation, the number of regulations that have to be conformed to are onerous to keep on top of. That’s why you need an expert to make sure you’re completely up to date.

With our experience, we are perfectly placed to advise and help with whatever requirements apply and can organise certified tradesmen to make sure your property is kept up to standard.

Prior to agreeing the tenancy

  1. Landlord Registration with the local Council
    All private landlords are required to register with their local authorities at Landlord Registration Scotland. Our agent registration number is LARN1809027 which should be quoted on the application.
  2. Energy Performance Certificates
    All owners of property in Scotland must provide Energy Performance Certificates to all prospective tenants or buyers free of charge and on request. A property cannot be advertised without an EPC.

Once a tenancy is agreed, but before the tenant occupies the property.

  1. Repairing Standards: The Repairing Standard extends the statutory obligations of a private landlord to repair a house. Rented property must now meet the repairing standard before it is let and at all times during the tenancy.
  2. Fire (Smoke/Heat) and CO detection: Detectors should be provided and tested regularly. When an existing smoke/heat detector needs replacing this must be with a fully integrated system.
  3. Fire and Furnishings: All soft furnishings should comply (and be seen to comply) with fire retardant requirements. This mostly applies to items made between 1955 and 1978.
  4. Insurance: You should have your property insured and the policy should provide for third party liability. If you are having difficulty getting cover we may be able to help. We can provide insurance through our block policy. Please contact us for a quote.
  5. Gas Safety Checks: All properties must have a valid Annual Landlord Gas Safety Certificate, carried out by a qualified Gas Safe engineer.
  6. EICR Electrical Installation Conditions Report: This is an inspection of the condition of the electrical installations to identify in order of priority any deficiencies. Renewable at least every five years. For HMO properties every 3 years.
  7. Portable Appliance Tests: These are required for all portable electrical appliances that are provided as part of a let. This is normally done every five years or annually for HMO properties.
  8. Legionella Risk Assessment: These are now required by law in all tenanted residential properties. Landlord and agent are severally liable unless one party contractually opts out.
  9. Duty of Care: Traditionally all the above regulations came under the broad legal scope of a landlord’s ‘Duty of Care’ to their tenants. If a landlord or their agent is aware of a potential danger (e.g. a nail protruding out of a floor or a broken glazed bathroom door) they may be liable to the consequences of not mitigating against a foreseeable accident.

Other regulations to be aware of:

  1. Tenancy Deposit Scheme: All Long Term tenants will pay a security deposit. It is the responsibility of the landlord or managing agent to transfer that security deposit to a government approved scheme and notify all relevant parties of the terms of that service. Factotum will hold all deposits for Short Term and Holiday Lets in trust.
  2. Housing in Multiple Occupation (HMO): If you are letting your property to more than two persons, who are not related or are not a couple, you must apply for an HMO license. This may require alterations to the property.
  3. Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR): This is an inspection of the condition of existing electrical installations, to identify (in order of priority) any deficiencies against the national safety standard for electrical installations. Renewable every three years for HMO properties.
  4. Fire Risk Assessment: It is required in HMO properties to identify potential fire hazards, to identify people at risk from such hazards, to evaluate the risk and decide if existing fire safety measures are adequate.
  5. Non-Resident Landlord Scheme: We can also advise on the Non-Resident Landlord Scheme for those landlords living outside the UK, and other tax related issues relevant to making your property work for you.
  6. Mortgages: Your mortgage company should be aware of your letting the flat. If unsure please contact us. We can help with any negotiations.