The Scottish government has issued new guidance to all local authorities concerning landlord regulation and registration enforcement in the private rental sector.
The Landlord Registration Statutory Guidance issued by the Scottish government is intended to highlight best practice for Scottish local authorities to use when regulating landlords and buy to let investors in the private rental sector.
The guidelines have come from the Scottish government in response to the fact that the number of people living in private rented accommodation in Scotland has more than doubled over the last decade.
The government is now trying to standardise the way landlord regulation and registration enforcement is imposed across all the councils in Scotland, to try to ensure that all tenants in the country can expect to be treated the same, and for landlords and their rental properties to reach the same high standard nationally.
Councils will be expected to maintain a register of all private landlords operating in the sector, to ensure that only those landlords deemed to be ‘fit and proper’ are allowed on the register, and therefore permitted to rent their properties.
Scottish government minister for local government and housing, Kevin Stewart, said: ‘The private rented sector plays an increasingly important role in Scotland’s housing system. Around 760,000 people in Scotland live in privately rented homes – twice the number of ten years ago.’
He continued: ‘I want to see a sector that is characterised by more good quality homes, being managed professionally and where tenants feel secure. Where there are poor standards, local authorities should be taking tough, targeted enforcement to ensure every landlord is fit for purpose.
‘I would like to encourage all local authorities to use this guidance and examples of best practice to raise standards in the sector and ensure greater consistency in enforcement across Scotland.’