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!

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New regulations for Letting Agents in Scotland

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From 31 January 2018, all letting agents in Scotland must comply with the Letting Agent Code of Practice and, by October 2018, must join the Register of Scottish Letting Agents. Failure to do so could lead to a fine of £50,000 or a six month prison sentence, or both.

The statutory Letting Agent Code of Practice sets out the minimum standards that letting agents must meet in managing their business and providing services to tenants and landlords, including training, financial services and insurance.

Information on letting agent registration, including how to apply, is available here.

What if a tenant thinks the code has been breached?

Under the code, letting agents must have a written complaints procedure for handling complaints and they must make that available to their customers on request. If an agent has failed to do what the Code of Practice says they’re expected to do, the first step is for a landlord or a tenant to make a formal complaint to the agent.

If the agent does not resolve the complaint within  a reasonable time, then the landlord or tenant can make an application to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing & Property Chamber). More information on applying to the Housing and Property Chamber is available on the Tribunal website.

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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