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Legislation

Short Assured Tenancies

These tenancies were introduced by the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988 and came into force on 2nd January 1989. A Short Assured Tenancy is a special form of Assured Tenancy which, in the first instance must be for not less than 6 months. A Short Assured Tenancy gives the landlord special rights to repossess the property and gives the tenant special rights to apply to a Rent Assessment Committee for a rent determination.

Short Assured Tenancies are the most common form of tenancy used locally in the private rented sector. This is largely because it is easier and quicker for landlords to recover possession of their property when the tenancy is a Short Assured. In order for a tenancy to be Short Assured, an AT5 Notice in terms of Section 32 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988 must be served prior to the creation of a tenancy agreement.

Landlord Registration

All private landlords in Scotland are required to register with the local authority where they are or will be renting out property. It is a criminal offence to rent out your property without having submitted a valid application for registration. Before approving your registration, the local authority will need to consider whether you are a ‘fit and proper’ person to act as a landlord. Your registration will be valid for three years from the date the local authority approves your application. After three years, you will be required to apply to renew your registration.

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)

It is now a legal requirement for private landlords to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to any potential tenants. They carry ratings which measure the energy and carbon emission efficiency of your property using a grade from ‘A’ to ‘G’. An ‘A’ rating is the most efficient, while ‘G’ is the least efficient..You must obtain an EPC for each property from an accredited domestic energy assessor. They will carry out the assessment and produce the certificate which is valid for 10 years. We can provide details of accredited assessors.

Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998

The Gas Safety (Installations and Use) Regulations 1998: The Landlord is legally required to have all gas appliances in the property inspected annually by a Gas Safe Registered engineer, as specified by the Regulations.   The Landlord agrees that the Agent may arrange for a Gas Safety Inspection to be carried out at the Landlord’s expense unless advised in writing to the contrary, at least 5 days prior to the tenancy commencing. Under this Agreement the Agents will arrange for the renewal of the Gas Safety Certificate up to one month prior to the expiry of the certificate, deducting the cost from the rental income from the property. Other than as provided, the Agent shall have no liability whatsoever under these terms and conditions and/or to any Tenant and/or Landlord in respect of gas inspections, gas safety and/or renewal. A carbon monoxide detector should be in place beside each gas appliance and this will be checked on an annual basis when the gas inspection is done.

Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (as amended in 1989 & 1993)

All upholstered items within the property must comply with furniture and furnishings fire safety regulation 1988. Items of furniture purchased after 1988 will likely have tags on them which prove they comply. The Landlord must ensure that all furniture in the Property meets the standard laid out in the above Regulations.  Upholstered articles must have fire resistant filling material.  Covered fabrics must have passed a match resistant test or must be used with fire resistant inner liners (guidance notes outlining the legislation may be obtained from the local fire master).  Items of upholstered furniture purchased after January 1989 should comply with the above Regulations and will display appropriate safety labels.   As Landlord you must be aware that not complying with the Regulations is an offence, which can be charged separately.  We cannot let any property failing to meet with the above Regulations.  You hereby confirm that any furniture and furnishings in the Property meet the above Regulations.

Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994

You must ensure that the electrical installation and all electrical appliances are ‘safe’ with little risk of injury or death to humans, or risk of damage to property. This applies throughout the life of the tenancy and includes all mains voltage household electric goods supplied by the landlord such as cookers, kettles, toasters, electric blankets, washing machines etc. Best practice is to arrange for a qualified electrician to check all appliances before the property is let. We can provide details of approved electricians.

The Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 – Smoke Alarms

The Landlord is obliged to provide a smoke alarm. There should be smoke detectors on each floor which should be mains power and interconnected.

The Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 -The Repairing Standard

As a Landlord you are required to ensure that the property meets the Repairing Standard under the above Act. As a Landlord you are required to ensure that:

  1. The property is wind and water tight and reasonably fit for human habitation (taking account of the extent to which the house falls short of any building regulations, because of disrepair or sanitary defects);
  2. The structure and exterior of the Property (including drains, gutters and external pipes) are in reasonable repair and proper working order (having regard to the property’s age, character and prospective life and the locality). Where the Property forms part of a premises (e.g. a flat), this criterion includes any part of the premises that the owner is responsible for maintaining solely or communally, but the Repairing Standard only applies if any part of, or anything in, the premises that the tenant is entitled to use adversely affected
  3. The installations in the Property for the supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation, space heating water are in reasonable repair and property working order (including installations outside the house but serving it, and which the owner is responsible for maintaining, solely or communally)
  4. Any fixtures, fittings and appliances provided under the tenancy are in reasonable repair and proper working order
  5. Any furnishings provided under the tenancy are capable of being used safely for the purpose for which they are designed;
  6. There is a satisfactory provision for smoke alarms.

It is a Landlord’s duty to make sure that a house meets the Repairing Standard at the start of the tenancy and at all times during it. The Landlord must inspect the house before the tenancy starts, in order to identify work necessary to meet the Standard and must notify the tenant of any work.   Once the tenancy starts, the duty only applies where the Landlord is aware that work needs to be done, for example, because the tenant has told them about this.

The Landlord must then carry out the work within a reasonable time. At the start of a tenancy, the Landlord must provide the tenant with written information on the effect of the Repairing Standard in relation to their tenancy, including how it can be enforced through the PRHP. The Agents will do this on your behalf.   The Agents shall have no liability whatsoever under these Terms and Conditions and/or to any Tenant and/or Landlord in respect of maintenance of the Property.   The Agents may discharge all obligations to carry out maintenance at the Property, if the Landlord is in breach of his statutory obligations, or prevents or otherwise fails to provide adequate funds to have work carried out, which in the opinion of the Agents the Landlord is legally or contractually required to have done. The Landlord hereby agrees to pay the Agents all sums in this regard.

For the avoidance of doubt, the Agents shall have no liability whatsoever under these Terms and Conditions and/or to any Tenant and/or Landlord in respect of furniture and furnishings, smoke detectors, electrical appliances and electrical installation.