Landlord Registration 1st Mar 2017
It is a legal requirement that all Private Rented Sector (PRS) landlords are registered as a landlord with their local authority under Part 8 of the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004, in order to ensure they are fit and proper to be letting out a property. Operating as an unregistered landlord is a criminal offence which may be subject to a penalty on conviction of up to £50,000, a ban on letting properties of up to 5 years and a criminal record as a result.
Landlord registration numbers must be displayed on any advertising featuring properties for rent. Where an application for registration has been submitted but not yet approved landlords must include the words “landlord registration pending”. Landlords must also register their letting agent if applicable.
Landlord registration must be renewed every 3 years and failure to do so will result in an expired registration fee of £110 per property, and the possibility of the above penalties for non-compliance if landlords remain un-registered. Landlords must inform the local authority of any changes to the information provided through the Scottish Landlord Register.
In response to updated technology and user requirements, a new digital application for the register of landlords has been developed for the Scottish Government by Register of Scotland. This can be accessed by smartphone and tablet as well as computer.
Applications for new and existing landlords should now be more straightforward. Local authorities will be able to keep a closer eye on landlords through the new system, and as a result will be cracking down on those landlords who do not comply.
Kevin Stewart, housing minister, said: “This new application provides a better and more accessible service for those who need to use it. Crucially, it will reduce the time that local authority staff need to spend administering the system, freeing them up to target those landlords who either don’t or won’t comply with the landlord registration requirements. That will help to improve standards for the 700,000 people whose home is in the private rented sector.”
As mentioned in our January newsletter, the Scottish Association of Landlords is calling for better enforcement of landlord registration. It is essential that landlords are aware of and adhere to all regulatory requirements. The register is one of a number of measures that the Scottish Government is taking to improve standards in the Private Rented Sector. The landlord register can be accessed at: http://www.landlordregistrationscotland.gov.uk/