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How is renting regulated in Scotland?

While there are similarities in Scotland to the way renting is regulated in England and Wales, there are some key differences. For example, it is no longer possible to create an assured or short assured tenancy in Scotland as these have been replaced with private residential tenancies. These tenancies last 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:

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

For more information on a landlord's obligations, read Legal obligations of a landlord in Scotland.

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. There are different tenancy agreements based on what you are renting out. Use a:

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.

For more information, read Residential tenancies in Scotland.

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