If you’re a private landlord, you must make sure your property meets a minimum physical standard known as the 'repairing standard'. This is a legal and contractual obligation that’s set out in the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006.
Landlords must carry out a pre-tenancy check of their property to identify work required to meet the repairing standard and notify tenants of any such work.
Duty of repair
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. On becoming aware of a defect, landlords must complete the work within a reasonable time.
Meeting the standard
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 also have regard to the guidance issued by Scottish Ministers on:
- satisfactory provision for detecting and warning of fires
- electrical installations and appliances
- the provision of carbon monoxide alarms
Tenants can refer an issue to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland Housing and Property Chamber if:
- they’ve notified their landlord of a problem, but the landlord has not attended to it in a satisfactory way
- they cannot reach an agreement with their landlord about whether or not there is a problem
The Chamber can compel a landlord to carry out work necessary to meet the repairing standard.