A major overhaul of the rules that demand private landlords to make sure rented homes meet minimum standards is on the way for Scotland.
The Scottish Parliament has published draft legislation to update the repairing standard, with measures phasing in over several years.
The first are scheduled to take effect in March 2019 and will allow two main exceptions to the rules -
- Landlords whose properties share common parts with other landlords will not fail the standard if the other landlords do not agree to the repairs
- The standard will not apply to holiday homes rented out for less than 31 days
The Tolerable Standard - guidelines for basic repairs and maintenance in a rented home - will be incorporated in to the Repairing Standard. The other measures are scheduled to take effect between February 2021 and March 2027.
The 2021 changes mean landlords must have working fire detection and carbon monoxide alarms in all private rented homes from the start of a tenancy. In March 2024, new laws are planned to upgrade electrical supplies with RSD circuit breakers, ensure all rented homes have fixed heating, and space to store and prepare food. Then in March 2027, the repairing standard will extend to rural properties.
The Scottish Parliament intends to reveal more information about the changes once the draft bill becomes law. The changes follow a consultation in spring 2017 about introducing a minimum energy efficiency standard and amending the repairing standard.