Landlords Repairing Obligations
Renting your property can be an area fraught with difficulties. One of the main issues which can arise between landlords and tenants is the question of repairs.
Almost all private rented properties in Scotland must meet the “Repairing Standard” before they are let and at all times during the tenancy. The Repairing Standard is contained in the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 and is enforced through the Private Rented Housing Panel.
The landlord or their agent must inspect the property to ensure it meets the Standard at the start of the tenancy (or earlier) and must inform tenants of the terms of the Repairing Standard and of the Private Rented Housing Panel.
The Repairing Standard contains the legal and contractual obligations on private landlords, which must be met, in order to ensure that their property meets a minimum physical standard.
Landlords have a duty to repair and maintain their property from the tenancy start date and throughout the tenancy. This also includes a duty to make good any damage caused by doing this work. On becoming aware of a defect, landlords must complete any work within a reasonable time.
Private rented properties must meet the Repairing Standard as follows:
- The property must be wind and water tight and in all other respects reasonably fit for people to live in.
- The structure and exterior (including drains, gutters and external pipes) must be in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order.
- Installations for supplying water, gas and electricity and for sanitation, space heating and heating water must be in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order.
- Any fixtures, fittings and appliances that the landlord provides under the tenancy must be in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order.
- Any furnishings that the landlord provides under the tenancy must be capable of being used safely for the purpose for which they are designed.
- The property must have a satisfactory way of detecting fires and for giving warning in the event of a fire or suspected fire.
If, after a landlord has been notified of a problem and it is not attended to satisfactorily or if there is disagreement about whether or not there is a problem, then tenants have the right to refer the matter to the Private Rented Housing Panel (PRHP). The PRHP was created from the existing Rent Assessment Panel for Scotland (RAP) and works to ensure fair rents for tenants and landlords across Scotland. The PRHP has power to require a landlord to carry out work necessary to meet the Repairing Standard.
A landlord cannot transfer responsibilities for repairs or the cost of repairs onto the tenant. These are unfair terms, and will not be legally binding.
This Briefing has been produced for information purposes only and is based on the law and other information available at the time of writing. We cannot be held responsible for any losses incurred through acting or failing to act on the basis of anything contained in this Briefing.
If you require advice on any of the matters referred to, please contact us so that we can advise you, taking account of your own particular circumstances and requirements.