Advice for Private Rented Tenants from Under One Roof

We understand things are difficult for everyone at the moment, but there are particular challenges for those living in private rented accommodation with shared stairwells and common areas.

Below we share the UnderOneRoof guidance on how to keep common areas safe and clean.

Keeping your close clean will not only make you feel better about your home where you are spending so much time just now, but it’s also important to protect your health.

If you employ commercial close cleaners, you may find that they are unable to keep to their usual schedules.  You may need to take action yourselves.

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Communicate With Your Neighbours

Find a way of warning neighbours that cleaning is in progress so you can avoid having to pass closely on the stairs

Protect Yourself

  • Wear protective gloves if available.
  • If you can’t get disposables, write your name on the gloves so you don’t end up sharing them with other people
  • Beware of splashing disinfectant on yourself.
  • If you think you just might need to use eye protection then do.

What To Clean

You’ll want to up your cleaning schedule for the close but pay particular attention to

  • handrails,
  • door handles
  • controlled entry key pads and door bells
  • any parts of the close wall that get touched (grubby marks are a tell tale sign).

Cleaning Method

  • Clean off the visible dirt and grease thoroughly first of all with soap and water – dirt reduces the effectiveness of disinfectants.
  • Allow to dry
  • Then disinfect surfaces with any of the following:
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Standard household disinfectant – read and follow the instructions carefully
  • Diluted bleach solution (bleach can be dangerous if misused so see further guidance)

How Often to Clean

Floors: two or three times a week

Handrails, handles, door entry pads etc: once a day would be a good target for most closes but twice a day would be better if many people pass through your common areas.

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Advice For Private Landlords – Renewals and Energy Efficiency

As a registered private landlord, you have certain legal responsibilities under the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) 2004.

Once you have registered you must renew your registration every 3 years. Using an email address that you provided in the application process, you will receive email reminders to renew 3 months before expiry. The Council can only send correspondence to the email address you provide.

If you fail to register after receiving two requests to apply, you are charged a late application fee of £130. Late fees don’t have any discount applied and all joint owners have to pay this fee. The late application fee is a charge laid down in legislation, and is automatically applied immediately upon the expiry of a registration. When a registration expires, it is no longer legal for any property to be let or sought to be let as they are no longer registered.

In many cases, the fee is charged at renewal due to an oversight by the landlord, rather than a deliberate avoidance of registration. To help landlords minimise the risk of having to pay a late fee, please note the following advice from the Scottish Government:

  • Firstly, if you are required to register but haven’t, please do so!
  • For those that are registered, renewal reminders are sent by e-mail at 90 days and 30 days before expiration. This offers a three month window in which to renew your registration without incurring a late fee.
  • The Private Landlord Registration (Fees) (Scotland) Regulations 2019 increased landlord registration fees from 11 June 2019. The regulations changed the principal fee to £65; the property fee to £15 and the late application fee to £130.
  • The Late Application Fee is the first enforcement step for landlords letting property without a valid registration. The next step is typically a Rent Penalty Notice, where rent is ceased for all let properties, the ultimate sanction is to have a registration revoked and for prosecution action to be considered. Please keep within the law and ensure that registrations are kept up to date.
  • Always keep your landlord registration e-mail and contact address details up to date. E-mail and postal reminders are issued based on the details held in the register. If you wish to change you contact email address you can do so online by using the website  
  • E-mails can sometimes end up in a spam or junk folder. Please remember to check these mailboxes so that reminder notices aren’t missed. The Council is not responsible if you fail to advise us of a change of email address or fail to check your spam inbox.
  • You can easily check your registration expiry date, in a single local authority area or across multiple registrations, using the online system and taking the renew/update journey. The summary page at the start of the “Your Registration” journey (https://landlordregistrationscotland.gov.uk/) will list all your registrations, expiry dates and let properties.
  • The Landlord Registration System was enhanced further this year by introducing a summary page at the start of the “Your Registration” journey and this lists all a landlord’s registrations, expiry dates and the let properties. If you are unsure when your registration expires please take a moment to check.
  • Joint owners must register / renew in their own right, a lead owner cannot register or renew on behalf of second or subsequent owners. Although second joint owner fees are typically waived, Late Application Fees are applied to joint owners whose registrations have lapsed.

Other useful sources of information are the Mygov.scot and Renting Scotland websites, or representative organisations such as the Scottish Association of Landlords, and Landlord Accreditation Scotland.

Scottish Government Consultation on Energy Performance

The Scottish Government is currently consulting on proposals to improve the energy efficiency and condition standards of privately rented housing in Scotland. For more information, see our housing blog post: Calling All Private Landlords! Have Your Say on Energy Efficiency!

Private residential tenancy documents available in other languages

The Scottish Government has recently published translated versions of the following documents:

The documents are now available in Polish, Urdu and Punjabi languages.

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Information for private landlords and tenants about new letting agent requirements

A new Letting Agent Code of Practice for agents of private landlords begins on 31 January 2018.

The Scottish Government has published information guides for landlords and tenants about letting agent regulation. These aim to help landlords and tenants understand what letting agent regulation is and what it will mean for them.

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