Shetland landlords reminded of rental obligations
Shetland Islands Council has urged local landlords to make sure they meet their obligations to tenants in their properties following recent changes to the Scottish landlord registration scheme.
The landlord registration scheme helps to protect tenants by ensuring landlords are suitable people to let out property. Following changes made to the scheme last September, landlords must now also demonstrate that the property is safe, energy-efficient and in a good state of repair.
Landlords now have a number of responsibilities to tenants, including undertaking checks on any property before new tenants move in, such as testing electrical installations, fire safety and where applicable, any gas appliances.
The landlord will also need to make sure that they have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the rental property, and that the property meets the standards for being in good repair.
Any adverts for properties will need to include the landlord’s registration number, to demonstrate that they are registered and the EPC rating. Renting out property without registering with a local council is a criminal offence, leading to a fine of up to £50,000. There are some exemptions to this, including holiday lets, letting to family members, houses with a resident landlord, and houses with agricultural and crofting tenancies.
In Shetland, it is estimated that there are around 500 landlords, renting out over 700 properties to tenants.
Patti Dinsdale, environmental health officer with Shetland Islands Council, said: “We are keen to work with landlords to raise awareness of their obligations under the landlord registration scheme. Tenants who are thinking of renting should also be asking questions of potential landlords about their property.
“Anyone who needs more help to understand the process of either letting or renting can get in touch with us and we’d be happy to discuss this with them.”