Repairing Standard: statutory guidance for private landlords

This guidance is for use in determining whether a house meets the standards of repair set out in the Repairing Standard (Housing (Scotland) Act 2006, Chapter 4). It applies from 1 March 2024 to all tenancies required to meet with the Repairing Standard.

2. Repairing Standard Overview

2.1 The Repairing Standard is one of a number of housing standards in Scotland including the Tolerable Standard, the Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS) and energy efficiency and decarbonisation standards in housing.

2.2 Chapter 4 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 sets out the duties placed on private landlords by the Repairing Standard. It outlines the legal and contractual obligations private landlords are required to meet to ensure that a privately let property meets a minimum physical standard.

2.3 The Repairing Standard:

  • Is the minimum level of repair a house must achieve to be used as privately rented accommodation in Scotland.
  • Focuses on the building condition but also includes all installations, fittings and furnishings that are provided as part of a tenancy.
  • Also requires private landlords to meet elements relating to safety, heating and access to common parts of a tenement.

2.4 The Repairing Standard “applies to any tenancy of a house let for human habitation”, except specified tenancies. There are three elements to this:

  • it does not apply to an occupancy arrangement, for example when a landlord shares their home with someone,
  • it does not apply to dwellings that are not houses, which means that mobile homes and other dwellings which are not part of a building are excluded from these standards – however, the definition of a house does include gardens and garages, and
  • it does not apply to tenancies that are specifically excluded by section 12 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006, which means that social housing is excluded from these standards.

2.5 Short term holiday lets were previously excluded from the requirements of the Repairing Standard. However, article 3 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (Licensing of Short-term Lets) Order 2022 removed them from the list of specified excluded tenancies. Therefore, short term lets, as defined by the Licensing Order, are required to meet the Repairing Standard. Article 3 sets out the definition of a short-term let for the purposes of licensing in Scotland. Article 10 (2) of Schedule 3 of the Licensing Order states “Where the premises are subject to the requirements of Chapter 4 of Part 1 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006, the holder of the licence must ensure that the premises meet the repairing standard”. This therefore makes it a mandatory condition of obtaining a short-term let licence that the accommodation meets the Repairing Standard. As set out in Chapter 4 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006, the terms landlord, let and tenant when used in this guidance will be understood to apply accordingly to short term lets.

2.6 Private landlords are responsible for ensuring that any property they rent to tenants meets the Repairing Standard at the start of, and at all times during a tenancy.

2.7 In order to comply with the Repairing Standard, private landlords must have regard to any related guidance issued by the Scottish Government.

2.8 Since it came into force on 3 September 2007, the Repairing Standard has been subject to change and different elements have been added. These changes have been implemented to help improve the standard of houses rented to tenants in the private rented sector.

2.9 Section 20(1) of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 states that, at the beginning of the tenancy or earlier, the landlord is required to provide the tenant with written information on the effect of the Repairing Standard provisions (including the means of enforcing the standard) in relation to the tenancy. This information is included within the Scottish Government’s guidance notes that must be issued to the tenant when a tenancy is set up.



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