What are your obligations?
Landlords – You must stay on top of a number of things pertaining to property safety and tenant well-being. Failing to do so can result in licenses being revoked, fees being levied, and in severe cases even a prison sentence. The legislation around obligations and responsibilities is also ever-changing, and so you must be astute at keeping up to date with changes to remain compliant at all times. There responsibilities including but not limited to:
- Gas safety – Landlords have a legal obligation to maintain a gas safety record, and ensure all installations and fittings are safe. You must have a Gas Safe registered engineer conduct a safety check and issue a Landlord Gas Safety Certificate.
- Electrical safety – Under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2014, landlords must have an Electrical Installation Condition Report) check done at least every five years; failing to do so is considered a criminal offence and carries a fine.
- Obtain permits for HMOs – In Scotland, the maximum fine for operating an unlicensed HMO is £50,000.
- All private landlords now have an obligation to apply to the local council for registration. If they haven’t registered, or haven’t applied for registration, it’s a criminal offence if they continue to let out property, and a landlord can be fined £50,000.
- Failing to register tenancy deposits with an approved tenancy deposit scheme, could lead to fines of three times the original tenancy deposit.
In addition to the above, landlords also need to take steps to ensure fire safety, carry out routine maintenance and declare rental income.
So it’s not worth the risk to attempt managing this if you feel you’re unable to keep on top of the legalities of being a landlord.