Whether you’re an accidental landlord, who has inherited a place, or someone embarking on buy-to-let for the first time, renting out property in Scotland comes with a lot of responsibilities.
There are key differences too, compared to letting homes in the other UK nations. You’ll need to register with your local authority for a start.
We’ve helped thousands of Glasgow landlords get to grips with their obligations. And in our experience, the best way to make things go smoothly is to work methodically through your landlord to-do list.
To get you started, here is our ultimate checklist for landlords new to the Scottish private rental scene.
- Register your intention to let property
- Register with your local authority and join the Scottish Landlord Register.
- For Glasgow, find details on the Glasgow City Council website.
- Note down your registration number and remember to renew your membership every three years.
- If you plan to rent out your property in Scotland as a house in multiple occupation (HMO), to three or more unrelated people, you will need an HMO licence – find out more about HMOs in Glasgow.
- Contact your mortgage lender – if you have a mortgage on the property
- You may be breaking the terms of your residential mortgage if you let the home to tenants without permission
- Contact your insurer – if you have a normal residential policy you may need to switch to landlord insurance.
- Decide if you want other forms of insurance – landlord liability or rent guarantee policy, for example.
2. Checks and certificates
- Organise an energy performance certificate (EPC) inspection by an accredited assessor.
- EPCs set out how energy efficient a property is on a scale from A (most efficient) to G.
- Book a competent electrician who is SELECT or NICEIC registered to carry out an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) inspection of the property’s wiring and appliances.
- Arrange a landlord gas safety record check by a Gas Safe engineer of any gas boilers, flues, fires, cookers or other appliances.
- You will need to repeat this annually.
- Arrange for a Legionella risk assessment to be carried out.
3. Making the home safe and fit to live in
- Fit the necessary smoke alarms in your property:
- One smoke alarm in the living room (or the room used most frequently)
- One smoke alarm in every hallway and on each landing.
- A heat alarm in the kitchen.
- These alarms should be ceiling mounted and they must be interlinked.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector in any room with a carbon-fuelled appliance such as a boiler, gas or coal fire, woodburning stove or flue.
- All furniture and fittings must meet fire safety standards.
- Check that the property meets the repairing standard.
- Check the property is wind and watertight.
- Check the structure and exterior are sound.
- Check that the water, gas, electricity and heating systems are in a reasonable state of repair.
- Check that all appliances are in good working order.
- Make sure the property meets the tolerable standard.
- Check for damp, poor ventilation, drainage and adequate cooking facilities.
4. Get your property tenant ready
- Make sure that the property is decorated to a good standard in neutral shades.
- Replace old carpets with neutral floor coverings.
- Carry out any necessary repairs and DIY jobs.
- Give the home a thorough clean.
- Make a careful inventory.
- Take photos or videos of the home and all fixtures and furnishings.
- Make sure your tenants sign to confirm everything is in the stated condition.
5. Finding tenants
- Decide whether to use a letting agent to find tenants or go it alone.
- Seek references from previous landlords or employers and contact referees to make sure that they are genuine.
- Get copies of bank statements and proof of income.
- Use a credit referencing agency to check past payment history.
6. What you must give your tenant
- You must supply your tenant with the written terms of their tenancy – ie the tenancy agreement.
- The Scottish government has created a model tenancy agreement, which you can use.
- You must also supply the Easy Read Notes for the Scottish Government model tenancy agreement, or the Private Residential Tenancy Statutory Terms Supporting Notes.
- If you take a tenancy deposit, you must protect it in an approved tenancy deposit scheme.
- You should register the deposit within 30 days of the start of the tenancy and tell your tenant which scheme you are using.
7. Paying tax
- Landlords pay tax on their rental income by completing an annual tax return. If you’re new to self-assessment you’ll need to register in advance
- Find out more on the Scottish government website.
While a checklist will help you work through the long line of duties that come with being a landlord in Glasgow, we can help you manage your checklist too. Give us a call to discuss our services for landlords today.