Publication - FOI/EIR release

Landlord Registration Scheme - website and revenue collected: FOI release

Published: 4 Dec 2020

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Published:
4 Dec 2020
Landlord Registration Scheme - website and revenue collected: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000105256
Date received: 29 Oct 2020
Date responded: 18 Nov 2020
Information requested

You asked for information regarding the Landlord Registration Scheme and the website https://www.landlordregistrationscotland.gov.uk/ and the income collected on-line by the system.

Q1) Between the website's launch, circa 2012" please omit the words 'circa 2012' and interpret my request accordingly as I understand the website was launched and operational prior to 2012.

Q2) Between the website's redesign in early 2017 to present day, can you again, please clarify if the website was designed and maintained "in house" (by the RoS or another public dept.), or was it outsourced to a third party. If it was outsourced to a third party can you kindly clarify whom?

Q3) For its lifetime, the website has always displayed the following message on all pages; "BETA This is a new service – your feedback will help us to improve it", and the websites About page has always asserted; "This website is still in development. By releasing it as a beta, we're able to gather feedback to improve features and functionality." Can you please clarify if you have a proposed time for when the website will be considered completed and no longer in a BETA stage of development?

Q4) For every fiscal year since its inception, can you please detail how much revenue the scheme has collected?

Q5) Can you please detail how the monies collected under the scheme are used and how specifically it is spent (eg. staff/brochures/website/etc.).

Response

The answer to your questions are as follows.

Q1) The table below provides details of the IT system contractors

Contractor - Time period

  • ACS Advance Computer Services (acquired by Dell or a group company of Dell on 17 November 2006) 2005 – 2009
  • Dell (sub contracted to Real time Engineering ) 2006-2009
  • Amor Business systems 2009-2013
  • Leidos (merged with Lockheed Martin's IT sector in August 2016) 2013-2017

Q2) In 2016, Scottish Government entered into a collaborative agreement with Registers of Scotland (RoS) to design and build a replacement Landlord Registration system for the 32 Local Authorities in Scotland who administer the regime. The new system was released in February 2017. RoS provide IT support for all aspects of the Landlord Registration system with the exception of payment processing which is handled by third party Stripe via an API to the RoS System.

Q3) Although the system is still being developed and enhanced, the IT system meets the key criteria for exiting beta as set out in the Scottish Government’s Digital First guidance which states: “When you exit Beta, you should: be able support your service with the right team including an on-going plan for user research have made a prioritised list of the work you need to do for the live service (a backlog) have found a way to measure your service’s success using new data you’ve got during the Beta phase tested the way you’ve designed assisted digital support for your service have built a working service that can be used in full by users”

RoS and Scottish Government colleagues have not defined a date for a beta to live assessment, however work undertaken between 2019 and 2021 will provide examples and evidence for the assessment process. RoS and Scottish Government aim to complete the transition to live within Q1/Q2 of financial year 2021-22.

Q4) The following table provides the total for each year for the application fees collected on-line. Whilst our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not hold some of the information you have requested.

Section 17(1) of FOISA (information not held) requires the Scottish Government to notify you if it does not have some of the information you requested.

This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested. The Scottish Government does not hold information on the fees collected for paper applications made to each Local authority.

Landlord registration fee income
2006-2007 - £1,560,361.95
2007/2008 - £467,304.97
2008/9 - £724,707.78
2009/10 - £1,259,793.54
2010-11 - £2,684,523.69
2011-12 - £2,585,300.30
2012-13 - £2,799,103.75
2013-14 - £3,900,631.35
2014-15 - £3,462,822.55
2015-16 - £3,610,557.50
2016-17 - £4,670,584.45
2017-18 - £4,323,012.61
2018-19 - £5,187,230.00
2019-20 - £6,632,029.10
2020-21 * - £3,530,446.00
Total £47,398,409.54
* to September 2020

Q5) The Scottish Government collects the fees and distributes them to the local authorities, the fees for application are charged in accordance with the Private Landlord Registration (Fees) (Scotland) Regulations 2019, https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2019/160/contents/made.

A business and regulatory impact assessment was carried out on requiring further prescribed information and increasing the fee. This is available at: https://www.gov.scot/publications/privatelandlord-registration-prescribed-information-fees-regulations-business-regulatory-impact-assessment/.

Information on the current fees are available on the Landlord registration public portal at https://www.landlordregistrationscotland.gov.uk/fees-information.

The fees charged within Landlord Registration are used to cover the local authority administration and delivery of landlord registration services and since July 2019, a proportion of the fee (£8 or £4 on each application that contains a principle fee) helps to fund the maintenance and further improvement of the Landlord registration IT system. Each individual local authority is responsible for determining how to spend their fee income.

About FOI
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG