The Repairing Standard, contained in the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006, covers the legal and contractual obligations of private landlords to ensure that a property meets a minimum physical standard.
Landlords must carry out a pre-tenancy check of their property to identify work required to meet the Repairing Standard (described below) and notify tenants of any such work.
Landlords also have a duty to repair and maintain their property from the tenancy start date and throughout the tenancy. This includes a duty to make good any damage caused by doing this work. And, on becoming aware of a defect, landlords must complete the work within a reasonable time.
A privately rented property must meet the Repairing Standard as follows:
- the property must be wind and watertight and in all other respects reasonably fit for people to live in
- the structure and exterior (including drains, gutters and external pipes) must be in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order
- installations for supplying water, gas and electricity and for sanitation, space heating and heating water must be in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order
- any fixtures, fittings and appliances that the landlord provides under the tenancy must be in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order
- any furnishings that the landlord provides under the tenancy must be capable of being used safely for the purpose for which they are designed
- the property must have a satisfactory way of detecting fires and for giving warning in the event of a fire or suspected fire
- the property must have satisfactory provision for giving a warning if carbon monoxide is present in a concentration that is hazardous to health
- To comply with the Repairing Standard, private landlords must have regard to the guidance issued by Scottish Ministers on:
- Satisfactory provision for detecting and warning of fires
- Electrical installations and appliances in private rented property
- The provision of carbon monoxide alarms in the private rented sector
If, after a landlord has been notified of any problem, it is not attended to satisfactorily or if there is disagreement about whether or not there is a problem, then tenants have the right to refer the matter to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland Housing and Property Chamber which has power to require a landlord to carry out work necessary to meet the standard.
See also: Housing Standards and Policies