In order to be a landlord in Scotland, you must follow certain rules and meet certain criteria. To begin with, you will need to register with the local council. Next, you will have to report to the local authorities for a background check to ensure you are fit to rent a house.
If, during your background check, it is found that you have, in the past, engaged in unlawful discrimination, committed significant crimes like fraud or assault, or violated landlord and tenant regulations, you will not be regarded as fit. After this, you must ensure that you have the safety certificates that are required to start renting out your property. In this article, we explain the different Scottish landlord safety certificates, what they cover, and how they can be obtained.
What is a landlord safety certificate?
Landlord safety certificates (LSC) are required for all landlords who let out any property for private residential use. They certify that the landlord has met minimum standards set by the Scottish Government’s Housing Standards Agency. LSCs must be renewed every five years.
Do I need a landlord safety certificate if my property is in Scotland?
Private landlords are required by law to have a landlord electrical certificate as well as documentation attesting to their property’s gas safety, electrical safety, energy performance, and Legionella safety.
In fact, since December 1, 2015, private landlords in Scotland have been obligated by law to make sure that their rented properties are electrically safe, under sections 13(4A) and 19B(4) of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006.
- Electrical Installation
- Electrical devices and equipment
- Any equipment furnished by the landlord as part of the lease
Landlords must be able to demonstrate that everything mentioned above adheres to an acceptable repairing standard, and is functionally sound. This must be conducted every few years as electrical installations deteriorate, thereby invalidating previous landlord electrical safety certificates.
Do I need a landlord safety certificate if the property is new?
A house with new appliances should be in a safe condition when rented. As such, you do not need perform PAT tests, gas safety checks, or an electrical safety inspection. Nevertheless, at the end of the day it is about covering your bases, and ensuring safety for your tenants which is why you should avoid cutting corners.
How do I get a landlord safety certificate, and what does it involve?
Without changing the initial anticipated expiration date, you can arrange for a safety check to be performed at any time between 10 and 12 months after the previous check was finished. You’ll get a new cut-off date, 12 months from the most recent check. If you’re looking to have a test conducted on your premises, it is important that you hire a competent company. Although you are not directly responsible for tenant appliances, it is still your responsibility to maintain the safety of connecting electrical wires.
What safety certificates do landlords need in Scotland?
Legionella risk evaluation
The Health and Safety at Work Act now legally requires landlords in Edinburgh, or indeed anywhere in the UK, to do a Legionella risk assessment on their properties and to manage the risk of Legionella. Unless the risk assessor advises differently, it is considered a best practice to revisit risk assessments every year.
Gas safety certificate
A gas safe registered engineer must verify that any appliances provided by the landlord in your home are safe to use, and provide you a gas safety certificate. Each year, the gas safety certificate must be renewed.
EICR electrical safety certificate
Since December 2015, it has been mandatory for landlords to have an electrical landlord certificate known as an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR), given by a registered electrician. This involves an inspection of your property’s fixed electrical wiring, and is valid for five years. Sometimes, if the wiring isn’t up to the mark, the certifying electrician might insist on more frequent inspections. Conducting an EICR on rental properties has long been considered a best practice.
Portable appliance test (PAT)
In addition to the EICR, you are now legally required to have PAT testing done on any electrical items you might have on your property. These tests cover a wide range of items, including refrigerators, freezers, ovens, and other white goods. PAT tests should be performed annually.
Energy efficiency certificate
Energy efficiency certificates were made mandatory back in 2009. They have a ten-year lifespan and every home purchased in the previous few years will have one included as part of the home report. No renting agent will market your home without including the energy rating of your house in advertisements. Additionally, displaying a copy of the certificate in the property is required by law.
How much does a landlord safety certificate cost?
In the UK, a safety certificate typically costs between £60 and £90. We suggest setting aside at least £80 for this inspection. Remember that this price range is normally for a home with one boiler, one gas range, or one fireplace that has to be checked. Normally, additional gas appliances cost £10 each. The location of your property will also have an impact on the quotations you get from engineers.
PAT testing services
at Legionella Risk and PAT
At Legionella Risk and PAT, we provide PAT testing services at competitive prices. Apart from their extensive knowledge, expertise, and years of experience, our electrical safety specialists use the most dependable and cutting-edge portable appliance testing equipment on the market.
Our PAT tests cover the following:
- Wiring and plug inspection
- Cable inspection and connection testing
- Discovering continuity and testing it
- Conducting lead polarity checks
- Testing for insulation resistance and electric shock defense
- General examination of light fittings, electrical wiring, and appliances