Buy-to-let landlords north of the border are being urged to demonstrate that they are complying with all of their legal obligations when applying to the landlord register to encourage higher standards in the private rented sector.
The Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland (CIH Scotland) views a government review of landlord registration application as a ‘fantastic opportunity’ to raise awareness of the fact that landlords are fulfilling their requirements – and for meaningful enforcement when standards are not being met.
The landlord registration system, which was set-up 12 years ago, is designed to ensure that landlords are registered and have passed a ‘fit and proper person’ test to make sure they meet the required standards to let properties.
The proposals include a requirement for applicants to confirm that they comply with a number of legal obligations, including statements relating to the condition and energy efficiency of the property; gas, electrical and fire safety; and legal obligations relating to the tenancy and deposit.
Ashley Campbell, CIH Scotland’s policy and practice manager, said: “Reviewing the landlord registration application presents a fantastic opportunity to ensure that landlords are aware of and are complying with their legal obligations.
“Our members are very supportive of measures that will support good practice in the sector. We understand that local authorities are under pressure and that increasing fees will help them to manage the registration process.
“But it will be important to make sure that those landlords who do follow the rules don’t end up subsidising the ones who don’t.
“We need to make sure that landlords have access to the information, advice and training they need to be able to provide high quality homes and services to the 330,000 households now renting privately across Scotland.
“At the same time, we want to see robust enforcement action taken against those who put tenants in danger by refusing to meet basic standards.”