Repair rights and responsibilities if you rent from a private landlord or letting agent
Your landlord has legal duties to make sure your home is of a good standard. Report repair issues to them as soon as possible. You must keep your home in good condition and let workpeople in to fix repairs.
Your landlord’s repair obligations
Your landlord must repair your home and any items they provide you.
Your landlord must meet two standards:
The repairing standard
your home must be wind and watertight
the structure and exterior of your home (for example, the walls and roof) 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 (such as carpets, light fittings, white goods) 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 and be fit to live in if:
it's not structurally stable (for example, it might be subsiding)
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's not insulated well enough
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
Your home should meet these standards by the time you move in and throughout your tenancy.
Follow our guidance if your landlord refuses to deal with repairs. You can take action to force them to fix the problems.
Your landlord cannot add terms in your tenancy agreement to get out of their repair responsibilities.
Letting agent’s repair obligations
Even if you rent through a letting agency it's your landlord’s responsibility to meet the repairing and tolerable standards.
Letting agents have separate repair duties. They must follow a letting agent code of practice. They should either:
carry out the repairs themselves
tell the landlord so the landlord can do the repairs
Your responsibilities as a tenant
If you cause any damage your landlord can make you pay the cost of putting it right.
Allowing for normal wear and tear, your responsibilities are to:
take care not to damage the property
keep your home reasonably clean
keep furniture provided in good condition
carry out minor maintenance (such as checking smoke alarm batteries)
get permission to decorate or keep pets
keep your home reasonably well heated (so the pipes do not freeze and burst)
Giving your landlord access for repairs
Before coming round to inspect or do repairs your landlord should give you at least 24 hours' notice. You have the right to 48 hours' notice if you have a private residential tenancy. They can give you less notice if there’s an emergency.
Make sure you allow access for repairs. You can refuse if your landlord wants to visit at an unsuitable time. They can get an access order from a tribunal if you consistently refuse.
How long repairs should take
They must be done in a reasonable amount of time. You can decide what is 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
If you're worried about eviction
In most cases, you cannot be evicted for asking for repairs, but you can be evicted fairly easily if you:
Your landlord must follow the correct process if they want to evict you. If they do not it could be an illegal eviction.
If you're worried that you'll be evicted for acting on your rights get advice from Shelter Scotland.
Last updated: 29 June 2022