While being a landlord in Scotland has complexities, it need not be overwhelming. The following Scottish landlord information section, provides you useful information about important aspects of being a Scottish landlord, and the letting services we offer. If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch.
Who has to register?
All landlords who let properties under a private tenancy in Scotland must register. You must provide accurate and up-to-date information about yourself and your properties. All joint owners of a property that is let need to register separately.
In order for you to become a client of Rooks, we required that you provide us with your Landlord registration number.
How you can register
You can register by following the the following link:
NRL (Non-Resident Landlord)
If you currently are or plan on becoming a Non-Resident Landlord you must ensure that you are registered. Visit the HMRC website for more information, or call the Non-Resident Landlord Scheme Helpline: 0300 051 6644 or 0300 051 6651.
Important Note: If you’re planning to rent your property out to 3 or more unrelated people, you’ll also need a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licence.
Although one of the reasons you use a letting agent is to take the headache of all the bureaucracy off your plate, being a landlord does require some paperwork. We will take care of as much as we are legally able to, however there is some that require your personal attention. The following is a list of the forms and other paperwork you would normally expect being a private landlord in Edinburgh, and Scotland in general.
When we receive instruction from you to advertise / market your rental property, we ask you to sign an Agency Agreement. If not prior to this stage, we -at this point, require the property’s (or properties if you have more than one) Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and your Landlord Registration number.
Monthly Landlord Statements
You will receive a monthly statement from Rooks (emailed to you by default, or by post if required), which provides you full financial details of your account, as well as an overview of any activity that may have taken place over that month e.g. maintenance.
Mortgage Provider Consent
Although this may not seem obvious, if you have a mortgage on your rental property, it is necessary that you inform -and get consent from- your mortgage provider, that you intend to rent your property.
As part of our service to you, the landlord, we regularly review property rental prices to ensure they are providing you with the maximum return on your investment. If a decision is made to increase the rent on your property, we require that tenants receive ample notice of these changes, in writing, to allow them to make a decision regarding the renewal of their tenancy, at the end of their existing lease.
Both the tenant and you, the landlord, are required to sign a Tenancy Agreement. This is a contract whereby both parties agree to the conditions of the let, during the period of the lease.
Although we don’t encourage any changes to a let that may affect the above mentioned Tenancy Agreement, from time-to-time there may be some changes that the tenant is required to inform Rooks about e.g. intention to get a pet, or a change in individuals occupying the property i.e. tenant swap.
As the end of the existing lease approaches, should you wish to continue to let your property, we will send the tenant a Tenancy Renewal letter, informing them of this intention, which, in turn, allows the tenant to respond to us regarding their intent to renew the lease (or not), when the time comes. Should the tenant not wish to renew their lease, the advance notice of this allows us to start marketing your property, as soon as possible.
In order for you to be able to rent your property, it must satisfy certain legal and safety requirements. If, during the application process, certain areas of compliance are not met, we can arrange for those to be rectified. The following is an overview of the points covering the legal and safety requirements your property must satisfy.
This is an easy one to miss. If there is a mortgage on the property you rent or intend to rent, you may be required to inform your mortgage provider, depending on the type of mortgage you have. Contact them to clarify the status of your mortgage in respect to letting your property.
If your property is fitted with any form of gas appliance or gas heating system, as the landlord, you are legally required to hold a current Landlord’s Gas Safety Certificate for that property. This certificate must be renewed annually.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detectors
A Carbon Monoxide detector is required if the property is fitted with any gas appliances. These detectors must be checked annually.
As a landlord, you must obtain and maintain a valid Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) and Portable Appliance Test (PAT) electrical safety certificates.
EICR: Wiring and sockets must be checked on a ongoing basis. An EICR is required every 3 years, or if the property is a new build, and supported with the relevant certificates, after 7 years.
PAT: All electrical appliances that are portable (e.g. toasters, portable electric heaters, washing machines, etc.) must be checked annually and a certificate provided to show that they are safe for use. A PAT is required annually.
Energy Performance Certificate
As of 4th January 2009, landlords in Scotland are required to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) when letting a property. All tenancies from that date are subject to this requirement.
EPC are valid for 10 years. However, an EPC is NOT required if an existing tenancy has been in place prior to 4th January 2009. For more information, visit www.energycertscotland.com.
Where not already fitted, landlords must provide interlinked smoke detection.
The requirements are:
- One functioning smoke alarm in the room which is frequently used by the occupants for general daytime living purposes,
- One functioning smoke alarm in every circulation space, such as hallways and landings
- One heat alarm in every kitchen
Note: HMO properties require hard-wired smoke alarms.
Smoke alarms must be checked on an annual basis.
Additional Fire Safety
A Fire Blanket must be provided where there is not one already present. This is the responsibility of the landlord.
Furniture & Fire Safety Regulations
The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 requires that all furniture a landlord provides must be fire resistant.
These regulations require that the following furniture supplied by the landlord in rented properties meet the above regulations (please note, this list is not intended to be exhaustive):
- beds, headboards of beds, mattresses, pillows
- sofas, sofa-beds, futons & other convertibles
- baby room/nursery furniture
- garden furniture and garden loungers/seats which are suitable for use within a dwelling
- beanbags, scatter cushions, window seats and seat pads
- padded stools and chests
- pop-up beds
- throws, loose and stretch covers for furniture
Important Note: Furniture manufactured since March 1989 will (or at least should) comply with these regulations and will -in most instances-, be marked with a label showing compliance.
One of the core principals at Rooks is to maintain very high standards, and this applies to the properties we manage on behalf of our landlords.
Aside from that principal, rental properties must meet the Repairing Standard requirements as set out by the Scottish Government, “Landlords must carry out a pre-tenancy check of their property to identify work required to meet the Repairing Standard and notify tenants of any such work. Landlords also have a duty to repair and maintain their property from the tenancy start date and throughout the tenancy. This includes a duty to make good any damage caused by doing this work. On becoming aware of a defect, landlords must complete the work within a reasonable time.”
For more information on this and other relevant areas, visit the Repairing Scotland website.
Landlords living within the UK must declare all rental income received from their rental property/ies on their annual tax return.
Landlords living outside the UK and receiving rental income must register with the Inland Revenue as a Non-Resident Landlord (NRL). Visit the HMRC website for more information.
Although you may likely already have insurance for your property, it is vital that you ensure that your insurance covers rented properties. So regardless of your current insurance coverage, ensure that you have a policy in place that provides you with the appropriate cover for your rental property.
Tenancy Deposit Scheme is a government approved scheme provided by a third party organisation to protect tenancy deposits until they are due to be repaid. Three schemes are in operation across Scotland:
- Letting Protection Service (LPS) Scotland – Rooks are registered with LPS Scotland
- Safedeposits Scotland
- my|deposits Scotland
As a landlord, you are required, by law, to put all deposit monies received from tenants into an approved tenancy deposit scheme.