Anyone letting property must comply with the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. These apply to any type of gas installation, including Liquid Propane Gas.
All tenants must be given a copy of the annual gas safety certificate, showing that all gas installations and appliances have been checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer. All servicing, repairs or replacement of gas appliances or installations must be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
The law addresses two main aspects of physical condition in rented property; responsibilities for maintenance, and safety issues.
Repairs and Maintenance
The Repairing Standard
The Repairing Standard, contained in the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006, brings together and extends slightly the existing statutory and contractual repairing obligations of private landlords. It also applies to some tenancies of social landlords, for example, tied houses (housing provided by an employer). The landlord must ensure the house is wind and water tight and reasonably fit for human habitation. The structure and exterior, various installations, fixtures, fittings and appliances must be satisfactory. Furnishings provided must be safe. Smoke alarms are also required. Landlords must inform tenants in writing about the standard before the start of any new tenancy.
If you notify your landlord that the house does not meet the standard, your landlord will have a duty to carry out necessary work within a reasonable time. It is also now easier for private tenants to make sure their landlord complies with their repair obligations. Instead of going to court, tenants will be able to apply to the Private Rented Housing Panel. For further information, please see the Repairing Standard leaflet for tenants.
Anyone letting property must comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations, to make sure that furniture is reasonably fire resistant. All furniture with upholstery covering or filling should have a label showing that it meets the regulations.
Your landlord's right of access to your home
Your landlord is entitled to enter the property to inspect any repairs required or to carry out repairs. You are required to give the landlord reasonable access to do this. Your landlord should normally arrange a suitable time with you, but they can enter the property, at a reasonable time of day, provided they have given you 24 hours notice in writing. (If an emergency repair is required, your landlord can claim immediate access.)
Tenants with disabilities
If you or someone who lives with you is disabled, in some circumstances your landlord may be required to make physical changes to the property. More information is available on the Discrimination page. In addition, as a result of the Right to Adapt under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006, you may be able to make physical changes to your home to make it suitable for you. You may also have a right to take advantage of government schemes to install central heating or energy efficiency measures.
Energy Performance Certificates
Building owners intending to rent or sell an existing dwelling, you must provide all prospective tenants or purchasers with a copy of an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The EPC provides information about the energy efficiency of the dwelling and also provides cost effective recommendations on improving energy efficiency, reducing carbon dioxide emissions and fuel bills. This requirement extends throughout the European Union. Guidance for Private Landlords
The rules on electrical safety are less specific than for gas and furnishings. Under the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, the landlord has a duty to ensure that electrical wiring and any electrical equipment provided for tenant's use is safe.
The regulations do not specify what must be done to show that the equipment is safe. However it is recommended that:
- appliances should be checked annually (portable electrical appliances safety test (PAT))
- wiring should be checked every five years by a qualified electrician
If you have concerns about any safety issues in your rented accommodation, you should contact the local authority Environmental Health department.
If you smell gas, call 0800 111 999 immediately.
More information on safety issues is available in the panels on this page.