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Preparing to rent out a property

Provide landlords with this simple checklist to improve their understanding and obligations

Good tenancy management starts well before a tenant is in place. Helping landlords get this part right will prevent problems down the line.

Benefits

  • By providing this checklist to landlords you can help them to understand their legal obligations and improve levels of compliance
  • Help start a conversation with landlords who didn’t know about, or are struggling to comply with, their legal obligations
  • A useful checklist to refer to when considering any enforcement action

Before a property can be put on the rental market there are several checks that must be done and standards that need to be met. It can be hard for landlords to keep track of everything that they need to do in advance of even advertising their property. Checklists are an effective way to raise awareness with landlords of all the necessary requirements and can give them a kick-start to achieving them.

The checklists below and on subsequent pages are provided for you to give to, or use with, landlords to help them comply with regulations and increase the standard of their properties.

Preparing yourself and your property Useful resources
Ensure everyone named in the property Title Deeds is registered as a landlord. Private landlords must registerwith their local authority to ensure that minimum legal requirements are met.  
Check the implications of renting out your property for your mortgage and tax purposes. For example, you may need permission from your lender to rent out the property and you may need to declare the income on a tax return. HMRC
You must have the correct landlord insurance in place for the property.  
If you are using a letting agent, check they are registered on the Scottish Letting Agent Register. Scottish Letting Agent Register
You need to hold an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) that has been issued for the property in the last 10 years. From April 2020, any new tenancy will require the property to have an EPC of at least band E and over time the requirements will be tightened. Planned Scottish Government EPC requiresments for the PRS

EPC assessors database
Ensure you have an up-to-date Gas Safety Certificate if your property has gas. This must be provided by an approved Gas Safe Engineer within the last 12 months and every year thereafter. You must keep a copy for a minimum of 2 years. The Gas Safe Register provides a list of all of the approved engineers in the UK and can be searched by postcode.
Check your property complies with the Tolerable Standard and Repairing Standard, which sets the minimum condition and maintenance standards which landlords must adhere to. The Tolerable Standard in Scotland – a brief guide

The Housing and Property Chamber set out what the repairing standard means.

‘Under one roof’ gives advice on repairs and maintenance specifically for tenement owners.
Do you need a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) license? Mandatory licensing applies to houses or flats occupied by three or more unrelated people who share bathroom or kitchen facilities. You will need to contact the local authority that the property is located in to apply for an HMO license.
Ensure the property has satisfactory provision for detecting and warning of fires. The Repairing Standard includes a duty to ensure that homes have smoke and heat detectors. You will require more than one alarm. From 1st March 2019 all alarms must be either mains-wired or tamper proof long-life lithium battery alarms. The official Government Guidance on fire alarms.
It is a legal requirement to provide an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR). As part of the EICR you must ensure all electrical appliances have undergone Portable Appliance Testing. The official Government Guidance on electrical installations, including a useful summary.
All soft furnishings provided must meet safety standards. Fire safety of furniture and furnishings in the home – A guide to the UK regulations
The Repairing Standard includes the duty for adequate Carbon Monoxide detector(s) to be in each room where there is a gas appliance. The only exception is if there is a gas cooker only in a kitchen e.g. a boiler elsewhere. The official Government Guidance on carbon monoxide detectors.
Letting agents and landlords are obliged by law to carry out risk assessments for Legionnaires’ disease, and implement any necessary measures. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) give clear advice regarding landlords responsibilities regarding Legionnaires’.

A helpful one-page summary of landlord responsibilities

HSE presentation on legionella appropriate for a landlord forum
It is a legal requirement that all advertising of the property must include the Energy Performance Rating Certificate and Landlord Registration Number. This includes both formal advertising platforms (e.g. through letting agents) and informal ones (e.g. Gumtree).

A downloadable version of this checklist that you can provide to landlords is available.

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