Are you complying with new legislation?

Landlords should be aware of potential fines and repercussions of non-compliance with the rules!

The law in relation to residential tenancies has changed significantly in recent years and here are just a few examples:-

  1. Landlords need to obtain an Energy Performance Certificate for each property.
  2. All Landlords need to be registered with the appropriate local authority/authorities.
  3. Electrical Installation Condition Reports and Portable Appliance Testing need to be completed for all electrical goods in a let property.
  4. Gas Safety Certificates are needed in each property with appropriate carbon monoxide and smoke detectors fitted.
  5. Tenant Deposits MUST be put into an approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme.

The most important recent change is contained in the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016.

This new Act means that as of the 1st December 2017, Landlords can no longer issue the most commonly used Short Assured Tenancy Agreement to new tenants. The Act radically changes the law for private tenancies and changes the rights of a Landlord. Some of the most notable changes include:

  • Private Residential Tenancies have no pre-fixed termination date, they continue until either agreement is reached between the landlord and tenant to terminate the tenancy, or on the specific grounds as set out in the Act.
  • Changes to timescales and criteria/reasons for issuing tenants with notice to quit.
  • New procedures and forms have been introduced in relation to the tenancy agreement and issuing notices.
  • There are new measures to allow a landlord to increase a tenant’s rent.
  • The Housing and Property Chamber, First Tier Tribunal in Scotland are empowered to make decisions and issue directions in relation to residential tenancies.

Another key change is the increase of paperwork to accompany the Private Residential Tenancy.  This must be carried out correctly to ensure the Lease is set up lawfully so that Landlords can rely on these, and thus the terms of the Act, should it prove necessary to terminate the Tenancy.

Landlords looking for advice and assistance in relation to residential leasing please contact Lissa McGregor in our Glenrothes office 01592 757114. Lissa has 20 years’ experience in lettings and her knowledge is supplemented by access to a team of solicitors who regularly deal with evictions and property related disputes.