From 30th April 2006, all private landlords letting properties in Scotland must have applied for registration in the register of landlords.
The aim of landlord registration is to ensure that all private landlords in Scotland are fit and proper to be letting residential property. The requirement will help local authorities to remove disreputable landlords from the market, protect tenants, and protection communities from the impact of antisocial behaviour and mismanaged property.
Do I need to register?
- I am a landlord letting private rented property.You must register if you are a private landlord letting residential property in Scotland, unless all the houses you let are covered by one or more of the exemptions. Letting part of your own home is exempt as is a house let to the tenant of an agricultural holding or croft. There are some other minor exemptions. If you are just entering the market, you should register before letting property.
- I have an HMO licence, do I still need to register?If you hold a licence for a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), you will have already been found to be fit and proper by your local authority and paid the licence fee. You and your properties will still need to be on the register, but this should have been done automatically and you will not need to pay. However, if you let any non-HMO properties, you must register these and pay a fee.
- I am an accredited landlord, do I still have to register?If you are a member of an accreditation scheme which involves a test of whether you are fit and proper to be letting houses, you may be registered automatically with no fee. Speak to your local authority to see if this applies to you.
- I am an agent managing private rented property, do I need to register?Although you are not obliged by law to register, you are encouraged to do so. In any case, the landlord whose properties you manage must list you on his or her application, and the local authority will check that you are fit and proper to be acting as an agent. You will have to provide information for the fit and proper test, and a registration fee must be paid for you, by yourself or by the landlord you work for. You may wish to register independently in order to be able to market yourself to clients as fit and proper.
- When do I need to register?You must apply to register before you let any property. If you are already letting, you must contact the local authority immediately.
- How do I go about registering?Registration is simple. You can register online at www.landlordregistrationscotland.gov.uk, or get an application form from your local authority.
- Which local authority should I register with?You must register with each local authority in whose area you let property. If you own properties in more than one area, you can apply online to register in all authorities in one application, and this will reduce the total fee that you will have to pay.
- What information will I need to provide on applying?
- your name, address, date of birth and any other names by which you are or have been known (eg maiden name)
- the addresses of any properties you let
- the name and address of any agent you use
- a contact address for queries about the property
- information on any relevant convictions or court/tribunal judgements
- a declaration that you comply with all relevant laws when letting property
- What does “fit and proper” mean?To be registered, landlords must be fit and proper to let residential property. The Better Renting website gives information on good practice in private letting.
Local authorities will make use of any relevant information available to them to reach a decision on whether you are fit and proper. They must take account of any evidence of:
- fraud, dishonesty, violence or drugs
- unlawful discrimination
- breaches of law relating to housing
- failure to act in relation to antisocial behaviour.
But the decision is a judgement in the light of the information available, it is not automatic.
- What if it is decided that I’m not fit and proper?You will not be allowed to register but the local authority may advise you on how to improve so that you can be registered. If you are neither registered nor in the process of registering, it is an offence to let a property. There is a right of appeal.
- How much of my information will members of the public be able to see online?Members of the public will be able to view the register on the Internet. By entering your name, they will be able to see whether you are registered. By entering the address of one of your properties they will be able to see your name, your agent’s name if you use one, and the contact address which you have selected for that property.
- I jointly own a property with someone else, how will that work?All joint owners must register. If the other joint owners are members of your family, you should nominate one of your number as the lead owner. The lead owner will pay the full fee; the other joint owners will pay a discounted fee.
- How will I benefit from registration?Good landlords have nothing to fear from registration. Registration will help local authorities to remove disreputable landlords from the market. This will remove the unfair competition of landlords who provide poor housing or inadequate management.
How much will it cost?
- How much will it cost?A principal fee of £55 has been set. Each owner or agent pays this fee for each local authority where they have to register, subject to discounts. You may be eligible to pay a discounted fee if you fall into one of the following categories:
- have an HMO licence
- joint own a property with a family member
- member of an accreditation scheme
If you apply online to more than one local authority in a single transaction, you will receive a discount on the principal fee for all except the first authority.
An extra £11 will be payable on each property which you own. Agents do not have to pay a fee for properties they manage.
How long does registration last?
- How long does registration last?Registration lasts for three years from the date your application is approved by the local authority. After three years you will have to apply to renew your registration. A renewal fee will be charged. (It has not yet been decided how much the renewal fee will be.)
You must inform the local authority as soon as possible if any of your details change, including your list of properties or the agents you use, during the three-year registration period.
From here to registration?
- From here to registration?
- Complete registration form or apply online at www.landlordregistrationscotland.gov.uk
- Pay fee
- Reply to any queries from the local authority
- Sign and return printed application details received from the local authority
- Receive confirmation of registration from the local authority
- (valid for 3 years)
- Notify any changes as they occur
Three years later?
- Three Years Later:Renew registration