Change to Legislation
The overarching purpose of the change is to make better use of the landlord registration process to contribute to improving standards across the private rented sector. Asking for more information about compliance at the point of application will:
- raise awareness about landlord responsibilities;
- identify where further advice or support for landlords may be required;
- ensure that local authorities are better informed to carry out the fit and proper person test
- improve confidence that anyone who is approved and entered onto the register is a suitable person to let houses.
How will this be enforced?
These changes are a starting point for improving practice in the private rented sector, based on an assumption that the majority of landlords want to provide well managed, good quality and safe homes for their tenants. The Scottish Government is working with local authorities to develop a good practice approach to scrutinising and validating the information that landlords provide. For example, landlords may be asked to provide evidence of compliance as part of a sample check of applications.
Improving compliance at the point of application will help to address any issues at an early stage and reduce the need for local authorities to intervene later on. Enforcement activity can then be targeted at those landlords who deliberately operate outside the law and really bring the sector into disrepute.
How does this affect you?
The new application journey will include questions about the following obligations:
- the Tolerable and Repairing Standards
- fire and carbon monoxide safety
- gas and electrical safety
- private water supplies and legionella risk assessment
- energy performance certificates
- insurance and common repairs on tenement property
The revised on-line application journey is still under development, using landlord feedback to ensure that the process is straightforward and the questions are easily understood. Signposting to further information will be included to help landlords who are not sure what they need to do. Provision will be made for landlords to declare if a specific duty doesn't apply.