A Guide to Renting Privately in Scotland

Maintaining your home

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

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.


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

  • the property must have suitable provision 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 First Tier Tribunal Housing and Property Chamber.

Landlords also the duty to carry out risk assessments for Legionella in the property.


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 First Tier Tribunal Housing and Property Chamber. The tribunal can order your landlord to carry out repairs or make a rent relief order to reduce your rent if they don't.

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


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.

Find out more about gas safety.


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 the 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.

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


Fire Safety

Your landlord should install at least:

  • one smoke alarm in the living room or the room you use most

  • one smoke alarm in every hallway or landing

  • one heat alarm in the kitchen

All smoke and heat alarms should be mounted on the ceiling and interlinked.

Your landlord should ensure that there are no fire hazards in your home, such as loose wiring. Any furniture provided by your landlord should be fire resistant.


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.

Last updated: 5 October 2020

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England