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Information for private landlords

This advice applies to Scotland

This information applies to Scotland only.

Rights and responsibilities

You can find information about your rights and duties as a private landlord on mygov.scot. It covers:

  • renting out your property
  • starting and ending a tenancy as a landlord
  • tenancy deposits
  • dealing with disputes with tenants
  • dealing with antisocial behaviour
  • choosing a letting agent
  • repairs.

Tenant privacy and data protection

Regulations about sharing personal information affect landlords who might need to share their tenants' information with local councils or tenancy deposit schemes.

The Scottish government has a template privacy notice that landlords can give to tenants to comply with the regulations. You could ask tenants to sign this to confirm they've received it. 

Landlord registration

Almost all private landlords who let properties in Scotland must register with the local council. It's a criminal offence to let out property without being registered, and you could be fined up to £50,000 for doing so.

You can register online on the Scottish Landlord Register website or through your local council. 

Immigration checks by landlords in England

Landlords, including householders, in England who let private rented accommodation must do 'right to rent' immigration checks. This means checking that adults over 18 have the right to live in the UK before allowing them to rent the property.

There's no requirement on landlords of private tenants in Scotland to make these checks.

Tenant Information

You must give new tenants a tenancy agreement and supporting notes which are available on mygov.scot.

Repairs

Most private tenancies must comply with the repairing standard. This is a set of legal and contractual obligations that apply to most private landlords to ensure that a property meets a minimum physical standard.

The First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber) can help tenants and landlords resolve their differences, including by enforcing the repairing standard.

There's information about the repairing standard on mygov.scot and more information for landlords on the First-tier Tribunal website.

From 1 March 2024, private rented properties must meet an updated repairing standard. For example, private landlords must make sure that their property has central heating, a kitchen with space to prepare and store food, and any common areas must be properly maintained and safe to use. There is statutory guidance for landlords about the updated repairing standard on the Scottish government website.

There's also information on help the tribunal can give a landlord in exercising the right to enter.

Energy efficiency

The Scottish government is going to introduce minimum efficiency standards for private rented homes.

You should check Home Energy Scotland - support for private landlords for free and impartial support and advice. Financial help might be available.

Discrimination

It's against the law to discriminate against a tenant or prospective tenant by treating them unfairly because of their disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy or maternity, sex or sexual orientation. You have a duty to make reasonable adjustments if asked to do so by a disabled tenant or prospective tenant.

Read more about discrimination in housing, the duty to make reasonable adjustments and exceptions to this duty.

More advice

You can get more detailed advice about your rights as a private landlord from an adviser at a Citizens Advice Bureau.

Landlords' associations

A landlords' association might also be able to help you. The Scottish Association of Landlords represents landlords and letting agents in Scotland.

Resident landlords

If you want to rent out a room in the house where you live, you'll be classed as a resident landlord. You can find information about taking in a lodger on the Shelter Scotland website.

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