Repairs (and the Repairing Standard)
As the landlord, you are responsible for the majority of repairs in the property. You must make sure that:
- The house is wind and water tight and reasonably fit for human habitation;
- The structure and exterior of the house including drains, gutters and external pipes are in reasonable repair and proper working order;
- The installations in the house for the supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation, space heating and heating water are in reasonable repair and proper working order;
- Any fixtures, fittings and appliances provided under the tenancy are in reasonable repair and proper working order;
- Any furnishings provided under the tenancy are capable of being used safely for the purpose for which they are designed; and
- The house has satisfactory provision for detecting fires and for giving warning in the event of fire or suspected fire. (you can get guidance on smoke alarm requirements )
- The house has satisfactory provision for giving warning if carbon monoxide is present in a concentration that is hazardous to health.
The above responsibilities come from the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 (and subsequent amendments) and is known as the Repairing Standard . A landlord in the private rented sector has a duty to ensure that the house they rent out meets the "repairing standard".
An amendment has been made to the repairing standard legislation to allow a third party (specifically the Local Authority) to make an application about repair issues. These amendments are contained in the Housing (Scotland) Act 2014.
If a tenant or third party (Local Authority) believes that a rented house does not meet that standard, an application can be made to the Private Rented Housing Panel for a decision by a Private Rented Housing Committee on whether or not the landlord complied with that duty. The Committee can then order the landlord to carry out the necessary repairs. Various enforcement powers apply if the landlord does not do so.
The Housing and Property Chamber (First-tier Tribunal for Scotland) performs the functions which used to be carried out by the Private Rented Housing Panel (PRHP)
Transferred on 1 December 2016 as part of the changes introduced by the Tribunals (Scotland) Act 2014.
If you do not carry out repairs and your tenant thinks that the property fails to meet this standard, the tenant has the right to apply to the Housing and Property Chamber. They have powers to serve a notice on you to make you carry out the repairs and may also reduce the rent due on the property by up to 90% until such time as the repairs have been carried out.
The Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 amended the Repairing Standard legislation to allow a Third Party (specifically the local authority) to make applications in the same manner as the tenant. The Local Authority must take the same notification action as a tenant prior to making the application. A phased approach is being taken to the implementation of third party applications. Moray is in phase 2 with a commencement date of 1 April 2016.
You will find full information on the Housing and Property Chamber website . The web site provides a brief guide for repairs and right of entry
You have a duty to notify the tenant of the Repairing Standard at the beginning of the tenancy (this duty will met by giving new tenants a Tenant Information Pack (revised 01 December 2016)
You have a duty to carry out repairs, even if your tenant is in rent arrears.
Getting advice to improve your rental property
We have a ' Scheme of Assistance for Homeowners and Private Tenants'. Contact our Home Improvements Team for more information and advice.
As a landlord you are entitled to enter the property in order to carry out any repairs that have been reported by the tenant. You must always give notice that you intend to visit the property and 24 hours notice in writing is recommended, although a phone call is usually fine. You should never let yourself or trades people into a property, except in an emergency.
Applications by a landlord to exercise their right of entry to their rented property
A further amendment has been made to the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 which allows the landlord to apply for assistance to the Housing and Property Chamber in exercising their right of entry to the property to view the state and condition of the property and/or to carry out works to meet the requirements of the repairing standard. These amendments are contained in the Private Rented Housing (Scotland) Act 2011.
It is important to note that if you enter the property more than necessary without giving your tenant advance notice this may be viewed as harassment by the tenant who is within their rights to seek legal redress.
Housing and Property