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Information on requirements can be found in various places online, however sometimes information is conflicting and out of date.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 January 2019.

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.
  • From April 1st 2020 an Energy Rating Band of at least E will be required for any property where a new tenancy commences.

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) 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.

10) 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.

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