Edinburgh Landlord Requirements

Stay on the right side of Edinburgh landlord regulations.

What are the legal requirements for landlords renting out property in Edinburgh?

Staying on the right side of legislation covering the renting out of a property in Edinburgh can seem daunting. Especially for first time Landlords.

Information on requirements can be found in various places online, however sometimes information is conflicting and out of date. We therefore recommend seeking advice directly from suitably qualified Letting Agents, such as HomeForce Property Management.

Listed below is a summary of obligations for compliance when renting Edinburgh properties as of February 2024.

IMPORTANT: – Note that additional obligations apply for HMO properties.

1) Register as a Landlord
  • Landlords are required to register on the Scottish Landlord Register.
  • The register can also be searched for registered landlords and properties.
2) Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
  • Landlords are required to have a valid EPC available to show any existing or prospective tenant.
  • An EPC is valid for a period of up to 10 years.
  • If work is undertaken in the property that is likely to affect the Energy Performance Rating (for example change in boiler, light fittings, insulation, windows & doors) a new EPC is required.
  • Properties in the private rental sector must have an energy performance rating of C or better at change of tenancy from 2025
  • All properties in the private rental sector must have a rating of C or better from 2028
  • Exemptions to the minimum requirements will be allowed where it can be demonstrated that reaching a C rating is not technically possible or is not cost effective.
  • Find out if your property already has an EPC by looking on the Scottish EPC Register

3) Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)

  • Private landlords in Scotland are required to ensure that their properties are electrically safe.
  • This covers any installations in the property for the supply of electricity (Sockets, switches, fuse boards, light fittings etc.).
  • The way to ensure the property is electrically safe is to have an EICR conducted by a registered electrician (SELECT or NICEIC) at least once every five years.
  • A landlord must ensure that any appliances provided under the tenancy are in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order, in particular that they are safe to use.
  • A PAT conducted annually will ensure this is the case.
  • New (under one year old) appliances do not need to be tested.
  • A test label should be affixed to each appliance.
  • The term “appliance” extends to items such as lamps and extension leads as well as washing machines and fridges.
  • All gas installations and appliances must be checked annually by a Gas Safe Registered engineer.
  • A copy of the gas safety certificate should be provided to all tenants

6) Carbon Monoxide Alarms

  • A Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector should be placed in every space containing a fixed combustion appliance. That is an appliance that burns carbon based fuels; oil, gas or solid fuel. This could include a boiler, fire, heater, stove or hob.
  • Carbon Monoxide alarms / detectors do not need to be fixed to a wall though doing so will help prevent tenants moving them.
  • Alarms do not need to be fitted by a professional (they can be bought from DIY stores) though the absence of one will result in a fail on a gas safety check.
7) Fire / Smoke / Heat Alarms
  • Smoke and heat alarms are required to be wired to the electrical mains, be interlinked and have a battery back up.
  • There should be one functioning smoke alarm in the main living space (e.g. living room), one in each circulation space (hall or landing) and a heat alarm in every kitchen.
  • Their correct function should be checked annually.

8) Legionella Risk Assessment

  • A risk assessment should be conducted by a competent person.
  • A landlord may choose to conduct the assessment themselves or, if they do not feel competent, they may employ a paid professional.
  • Typically, flats and houses are low risk and an in depth, detailed assessment is not required, a simple risk assessment is sufficient.

9) Lead in Water Supply 

  • From 1st March 2024 landlords are required to ensure that the water supplied in the property is not run through any lead fixtures or fittings (lead pipes and lead lined tanks).
  • Pipes & Pictures from the boundary stock coat to the kitchen tap are the responsibility of the landlord.
  • If the lead content of water in a property is above 3 micrograms per litre tenants must be informed and action to remove lead taken
  • In tenements landlords must make reasonable efforts to gain consent of a majority of owners to change any lead pipework.
10) Furniture and Furnishings Fire Safety 
  • Soft furnishings manufactured or re-upholstered after 1st March 1989 must meet safety standards and be labelled as such.
  • Regulations do not apply to furniture made and unaltered before 1950, curtains, carpets, bed covers, & mattresses covers.

11) Tenancy Agreement

  • A landlord must provide written terms of a private residential tenancy to their tenants.
  • The terms of the tenancy agreement must comply with current regulations.

12) Deposits

  • Deposits taken from tenants must be placed in deposit protections scheme approved by the Scottish Government.
  • Information about the scheme must be provided to the tenants.

13) Insurance 

  • While not a legal requirement it is advisable for landlords to have appropriate insurance cover for the property.
  • This may include building insurance and landlord liability insurance.

14) Tenant Information Pack

  • A Tenant Information pack containing information about the tenancy and property (including compliance certification) must be provided.

It is important to note that laws and legislation in Scotland’s Private Rental Sector are evolving. It is recommended to check with local authorities such as Scottish Government and City of Edinburgh Council.

Further obligations, beyond the scope of this article, may apply for insurance purposes, mortgages providers, property management agents and non resident landlords.

HomeForce Property Management is a Letting Agent Accredited by the Scottish Government. Registration number: – LARN1903010. Verification can be provided by calling 0300 244 6439 or on the Letting Agent Register.

To discuss letting your property with HomeForce Property Management