Talk to us today, call your local office

contact us North Berwick - 01620 892138
contact us Dunbar - 01368 862746

Advice to landlords

Written by:
Category: News
21 July 2017
Are you thinking about becoming a Landlord?

Being a landlord can be a busy and stressful process, particularly when you market your property for the first time.  Not only must you ensure the property is well-maintained and marketed, you must also be up to date with the legislation governing the private rented sector.  The following aspects need to be considered –

    Registration – You must be registered with the relevant local authority for the location of the property and you must have permission from your mortgage lender to let the property as well as having the relevant insurance cover in place.

•    Repairs and Safety – The Repairing Standard within the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 prescribes the condition a property must be in to be suitable for rental.  It covers such aspects as the property being wind and watertight, requirements for furnishings and fittings, and the provision of smoke alarms.

•    Safety Inspections – There are 3 types of inspections which must be carried out.  An electrical safety inspection must be carried out every 5 years and includes an Electrical Installation Report and a Portably Appliance Test.  If the property has gas, an annual gas safety check must be done and a copy of the Gas Safety Certificate must be provided to the tenant before the start of the tenancy and annually thereafter.  Finally, landlords have a duty to carry out legionella risk assessments on water systems in their properties.

•    Finding a Tenant – Properties will need marketed to find a tenant.  An agent can prove invaluable in this process, not only marketing the property online but also obtaining and checking references of prospective tenants.

•    Setting up The Lease - Once a suitable tenant has been found, a tenancy agreement needs to be drawn up.  The common one used is a Short Assured Tenancy (SAT) which has an initial period of at least 6 months.  A form AT5 must also be issued before the start of the lease.  The landlord must also give the tenant the ‘Tenant Information Pack’ which is issued by the Scottish Government at the start of the tenancy.  It is therefore essential that the tenancy is set up correctly from the start and again an agent can be used to ensure this is done.

•    Inventory – An inventory of contents and condition should be prepared and a security deposit taken which must be lodged with a government approved tenancy deposit scheme.

The private rented sector has introduced many changes in the last few years and is continuing to evolve.  The Private Housing (Tenancies)(Scotland) Act 2016 is expected to come into force in 2018 and will introduce a new Private Rented Tenancy (PRT) as a standard lease with no minimum period which will replace the SAT.  This new tenancy will also mean landlords are no longer able to simply give 2 months’ notice with no reason to bring a lease to an end.  In addition to this, the new Letting Code of Practice will come into effect on 31 January 2018.  This sets out the standards which letting agents in Scotland will need to adhere to. 

As a member of Landlord Accreditation Scotland (LAS), you can be confident that Paris Steele Property Management adheres to high standards of practice for letting and will provide quality management of your accommodation.  We also have access to in-house training with LAS to ensure that we keep abreast of new legislation or initiatives as they happen.
For further advice or information contact Jenny Edgar, Paris Steele Property Management, Haddington 820982.

Written by:

Paris Steele has been providing a comprehensive legal service to the residents of East Lothian since 1926. We have offices in North Berwick and Dunbar and are proud to combine the highest quality of professional advice with first rate customer service. We understand the importance of getting to know you and our legal services will be individually tailored to meet your needs and resources. We are happy to act for both individuals and businesses. Our services are available to everyone and whilst our area of practice is limited to within Scotland we have clients from the whole of the UK and overseas.

We understand the importance of getting to know you and our legal services will be individually tailored to meet your needs and resources. We are happy to act for both individuals and businesses.