Renting out property in Scotland

This information only applies in Scotland.

There are quite a few matters to take into consideration when deciding whether to let out residential property in Scotland. This quick guide sets out some of the main things you'll want to think about to get you started.

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How is renting regulated in Scotland?

While there are similarities in Scotland to the way renting is regulated in England & Wales, there are some key differences. For example, it is no longer possible to create an assured or short assured tenancy in Scotland. These have now been replaced with the private residential tenancy, which lasts until a landlord evicts the tenant for specific legal reasons, such as rent arrears or an intention to sell, or if the tenant wants to leave.

Another difference is that landlords in Scotland must be registered in the Scottish Landlord Register if they want to let out property, but they don't need to check that their tenants have the right to rent in the UK (unlike south of the border). For further information, read Landlord registration in Scotland

Other key features of renting in Scotland include:

  • limits on how frequently rent can be increased
  • potential rent caps if a local council thinks rents are rising too high
  • mandatory use of an approved deposit protection scheme

What do you need to do to your property?

If you have a mortgage, one of the first things to do is contact your lender to get their permission to let and check whether there are any restrictions on how you rent your property. You'll also need to make sure you've got adequate insurance in place.

Your property also has to meet the following standards:

  • it is wind and watertight and in all other respects reasonably fit for human habitation
  • the structure and exterior of the house are in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order
  • the water, gas and electricity supply and installations for sanitation and heating are in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order
  • any fixtures, fittings or applications are in a reasonable state of repair
  • any furnishings are safe
  • fire and carbon monoxide alarms are installed and working
  • a qualified electrician carries out electrical safety inspections at least once every five years

You should also think about your local rental market and the type of tenant you want. This will help you decide whether the property should be offered furnished, part-furnished or unfurnished.

What kind of tenancy agreement should you use?

If you're renting out a whole property, you'll need a private residential tenancy agreement.

If you're living in the property and want to take in a lodger, you should think about getting a lodger agreement.

You might also want to consider putting in writing how you and the tenant will contact each other and send documents. This can be done by including the agreed terms in a communication agreement.

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Get advice about Renting out property in Scotland

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