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Maintaining your home

What you need to know about your and the landlord's responsibilities.

The repairing standard

Your landlord must make sure your home reaches a standard level of repair called the 'repairing standard'.

To meet the repairing standard:

  • the property must be wind and watertight
  • the property must be fit for you to live in
  • the structure and exterior of the property (for example, the walls and roof) must be in a reasonable condition
  • the installations for the supply of water, gas, electricity, and for sanitation, space heating and heating water must be in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order (these include external installations such as drains)
  • any fixtures, fittings or appliances provided by the landlord (such as carpets, light fittings, white goods and household equipment) must be in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order
  • any furnishings provided by the landlord must be capable of being used safely for the purpose for which they are designed
  • the property must have suitable smoke/fire detectors - if the alarms are installed after September 2007, they should be mains powered rather than battery powered
  • the property must have suitable provision for for giving warning if the carbon monoxide levels are hazardous to a person's heath.

If your home doesn't reach this standard and your landlord refuses to carry out the necessary work, you can report them to the Housing and Property Chamber, First-tier Tribunal for Scotland.

Getting repairs done

Report the problem as soon as possible to your landlord - even if it's very minor you should still let your landlord know about it preferably in writing. Download a repair letter template to help you report the problem.

Repairs should be carried out within a reasonable time. There are no fixed time limits for repairs - the length of time that's reasonable depends on the type of repair. Certain repairs, e.g. a blocked drain or a problem with the gas, should be carried out urgently.

What if my landlord doesn't do the repairs?

Before taking any action, you should collect all the evidence you can of the repairs that are needed and what you have done to get your landlord to carry them out. such as:

  • photographs
  • an inspection by an expert
  • copies of letters sent to your landlord
  • copies of doctor's notes or hospital reports
  • receipts for anything you've paid for because of the repair problem

If something needs to be repaired and your landlord is refusing to cooperate, you can apply to the Housing and Property Chamber, First-tier Tribunal for Scotland. The Tribunal can order your landlord to carry out repairs or make a rent relief order to reduce your rent if they don't.

Gas safety

Landlords must have a valid gas safety certificate from a Gas Safe Register engineer for the property, and they must provide you of this within 28 days of the check being completed. In addition, your landlord must provide fire detection equipment for your home, such as a smoke alarm, and should ensure that there are no fire hazards in your home, such as loose wiring or dangerous stairs. Any furniture provided by your landlord should be fire resistant

Electric safety

Landlords must carry out an inspection of all installations, fixtures and fittings in a property. Landlords have to give a copy of the most recent inspection report to new tenant before the tenancy begins.

After the initial inspection, there will have to have a further inspection carried out at least once every five years.This new requirement applies to any new tenancy that begins on or after 1 December 2015.

For existing tenancies landlords have up to 1 December 2016 to carry out an inspection.

You are responsible for maintaining any electrical goods that belong to you.

Check our main site for more information and help with repairs.

Landlord contact details

If you rent from a letting agency, you can ask who the landlord is. Put your request in writing and the letting agent should reply with your landlord's name and address within 21 days. It is a criminal offence for the landlord or letting agency to withhold this information.

If your landlord changes, you should be given the new landlord's name and address before the next day that the rent is due or within two months of the change, whichever date is later.

Change of landlord

If your landlord sells the property or the landlord dies and passed new owner, the new owner will have to honour the terms of your lease. This means they won't be able to evict you without a good reason, and they won't be able to raise the rent without going through the proper procedures.

If your landlord is having money problems and cannot pay the mortgage on the property you're renting, their mortgage lender may repossess the property. This may also happen if your landlord has other secured loans on the property and cannot pay them back. This means the lender will become your landlord. You will still have tenancy rights, and the lender will not be able to throw you out overnight. However, it's likely that they will begin eviction proceedings as soon as possible.