Review of Landlord Registration in Scotland
The Scottish Government has published a consultation on proposed changes to landlord registration in Scotland. The changes relate to the fee structure, and to expansion of the information required of landlords seeking registration. According to the government “the proposals are intended to strengthen the system of landlord registration in a proportionate way that will help to ensure that homes rented to private rented sector tenants are of good quality and are managed professionally.”
The changes being considered are: –
- an increase in the principal fee from £55 to £70, and in the property fee from £11 to £14;
- an extra charge on the principal fee to cover the cost of running the online registration system;
- removing the 10% online application discount, the 100% joint owner discount and the 50% multiple area discount to better reflect application processing costs;
- charging an administration fee to those who need to update the register because of a change in circumstances;
- requiring landlords to confirm or, if appropriate, provide evidence that they are adhering to relevant legislation including gas and electrical safety certification, EPC and legionnella risk assessment;
- offering a “best practice” discounts to landlords who are members of an accreditation scheme or who have undertaken relevant training.
The consultation can be accessed here. The deadline for responses is 7 June 2018.
Simply Let intends to respond welcoming the last bullet point above (We have long maintained that it should be compulsory for landlords to be accredited or to use a regulated letting agent) We intend also to express concern at the lack of a consistent approach across Scotland and the general ineffectiveness of the scheme in raising management standards, and with a plea that any increase in landlords’ costs as a result of this review be matched by a pro-active and consistent approach by local authorities to eliminating poor practice. The Housing Minister, Kevin Stewart MSP, is after all on record as saying that he wants local authorities to do just that.
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