Don’t get caught out by the latest landlord rules in Glasgow
Becoming a landlord and renting out your flat once you move in with your new partner seems like a no-brainer. But are you aware of all the steps you need to take to do this correctly?
Rules and regulations around becoming a landlord in Scotland are becoming more and more rigorous. It’s easy to get caught out if you’re not careful, and sometimes even if you are.
1. Register with the council
Failure to do this might cause you a lot of legal problems. There are a few exceptions where you don’t need to register. For now, doing a short-term “holiday let” with sites such as Airbnb are exempt, but this may change. You also do not have to register if you are living in the house as well (say for a lodger in your spare bedroom) or if you’re renting to a family member. But it’s still worth checking with your council before you begin just to make sure nothing has changed. Once you’ve registered, you’ll need to renew every three years.
If you’re planning on renting your house out to three or more unrelated tenants, you will need an HMO (Houses in Multiple Occupation) license and an inspection. But the fine for failing to do this is £50,000, so it’s definitely cheaper to get licensed!
You don’t have to be accredited as well as registered to be a landlord in Scotland, but it will help you attract tenants if you can show you meet certain standards. This can be either arranged through your local council or Landlord Accreditation Scotland.
2. Make sure your mortgage and insurance don’t need to change
If you start bringing in tenants, your mortgage and insurance providers may decide this breaks the terms of your previous agreement, and you could get into legal trouble with your contracts. Insurers may also refuse to pay out if your tenant breaks something — unless you get specific landlord insurance.
3. Taking deposits
In Scotland, deposits must be registered via an approved tenants’ deposit scheme, where the money is held safe by a third party and will be kept until any disputes are resolved, such as where there is a cleaning bill.
In order to keep yourself right, you should have a photographic inventory of the state of the property just before a tenant moves in, and the same again when they vacate.
4. Certificates required
You need an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) to rate your property’s heating, windows, insulation and so on to show how well your home performs for your future tenants, and how much they might have to pay in bills. The survey is performed by an accredited Energy Assessor.
Gas Safety & PAT testing (portable appliance testing) should be carried out annually, an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is required for each new tenancy and is required to be refreshed periodically (usually every 5 years), heat & smoke alarms must be hard wired and interlinked, the amount of alarms required is determined by the size and layout of your property.
A new test that might not occur to you is a Legionella Risk Assessment. This nasty bug, also known as Legionnaire’s disease, can form in cold water header tanks and in poorly fitted pipes.
5. Other standards you need to meet
The repairing standard is laid out so you know your duties as a landlord. They are mostly common sense, like keeping your property wind and watertight or keeping the boiler in good repair. If there is gas in the property you will also need to get carbon monoxide detector fitted. A good rule of thumb is that if you would want it for your own family, you will need it for your tenants.
All this information is available on mygov.scot.
If it is all giving you a headache, you might decide to hire a letting agent, like Infiniti Properties, to arrange this for you for a simple and transparent fee. We will find you tenants, help deal with their issues, and make sure you’re meeting all your legal requirements so you can feel safe & secure.
Get in touch today to talk about how our