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Landlord registration in Scotland

This information only applies in Scotland.

Landlords are legally required to register with the local council before renting out residential property. Read this quick guide for more information on registering as a landlord to ensure you're compliant with the law.

Landlord registration is compulsory so that local authorities can keep track of private landlords and letting agents renting out properties in the area. Doing this means it’s easier for councils to make sure houses and flats are suitable for people to live in. It’s the landlord’s responsibility to apply to the local council for registration. The council will carry out checks to make sure you’re a fit and proper person to be acting as a landlord.

Once registered, you’ll be added to the local council's formal register of listed landlords. The registers are held on a central database that’s available to view online.

Your landlord registration will be valid for 3 years from the date the council approves the application. After 3 years you will have to renew your registration.

This can be done online by going to the Landlord Registration website or by completing an application form and sending it to your local authority. You may need to pay a fee when registering

This test is carried out to make sure potential landlords meet certain standards before being allowed to rent out their properties. The council will look at your personal history to identify potential problems. It will look at whether you’ve committed fraud or a violent crime in the past, any evidence that you’ve previously acted as a bad landlord, or anything else that it considers relevant.

There are a limited number of private landlords who aren't required to register. Potential landlords who are living at the property they plan to rent out, either full time or most of the time, won't have to register. If you’re renting the property as a holiday home or if the property is part of an agricultural tenancy and is used as a home by the agricultural tenant, you’re exempt from registration. If the owner of the property has died within the last six months and you’re renting it out while their estate is being wound up there is no requirement to register.

Tenants will be able to check that their landlords are registered by looking at the online register. Government advice is now that all tenants should do this before agreeing to move in or signing a tenancy agreement. You’ll need to include your registration number in all adverts.

It is a criminal offence not to register. Once alerted to this, the council will send a rent penalty notice. If you’re charged with committing a crime, you can be fined up to £50,000 and may be banned from being registered as a landlord for up to 5 years.

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