Repairs if you rent from a private landlord or letting agent
Check who's responsible for repairs
Your landlord must repair your home and any appliances they've provided.
You must keep your home in good condition, report repair problems as soon as possible, and allow access for repairs.
Your landlord cannot:
charge you for repairs, unless you caused the damage
say that you're responsible for repairs or write this in your tenancy agreement
Your landlord’s repair responsibilities
Your landlord must make sure your home meets the repairing standard and the tolerable standard.
The repairing standard
your home must be wind and watertight
the structure and exterior of your home must be in a reasonable condition
the internal and external installations supplying water, gas, electricity, sanitation, heating and hot water must be in a reasonable state and working properly
fixtures, fittings or appliances provided by your landlord must be in a reasonable state and working properly
furnishings provided by your landlord must be safe to use
The tolerable standard
Your home may not meet the tolerable standard if:
it's not structurally stable
it's not insulated well enough
it has problems with rising or penetrating damp
there’s not enough ventilation, natural and artificial light or heating
there’s no suitable way for you to install cooking facilities
the electric supply does not meet safety regulations
it does not have:
an acceptable fresh water supply
a sink with hot and cold water
an indoor toilet
a fixed bath or shower
a good drainage and sewerage system
a proper entrance
suitable smoke, fire and carbon monoxide alarms
Keeping your home safe
Your landlord must do safety checks and follow the rules around:
How long repairs should take
Your landlord must do repairs in a reasonable amount of time. What counts as reasonable depends on the circumstances.
Consider what's reasonable for you and then ask your landlord or letting agent to agree to it.
To decide how long you think the repair should take, ask yourself:
whether it’s an emergency
what effect it’s having on you
how long is fair and realistic for your landlord to fix it
Your responsibilities as a tenant
report repairs as soon as possible
allow access for repairs to be done
take care not to damage the property
get permission to decorate or keep pets
keep your home clean
keep any furniture provided in good condition
carry out minor maintenance, such as changing light bulbs and smoke alarm batteries
keep your home reasonably well heated and ventilated, to avoid dampness and frozen pipes
If you're struggling to heat your home, contact Home Energy Scotland for advice.
If you cause any damage your landlord can make you pay the cost of repairing it. This does not apply to fair wear and tear. For example, if carpets or furniture become worn through normal use, your landlord cannot charge you to replace them.
If you want to do home improvements
You need permission from your landlord. You’re responsible for the work and the costs.
Improvements are things like painting and decorating or replacing the kitchen or bathroom.
It can be risky to spend money on improvements. You won't get your money back if you move out or your landlord ends your tenancy.
If you make changes without permission, your landlord could charge you to put things back the way they were.
Advice on common repair problems
Last updated: 20 July 2023