Your landlord’s registration responsibilities

Private landlords must register with the council before they can rent out a property. The council can remove your landlord from the register if they do not behave properly. Check if your landlord is registered and what to do if they are not.

All private landlords must register with the council, unless they are exempt.

Private landlords that do not have to register

Landlords are exempt from registering if they:

  • live in the property with their tenant

  • are subletting their home

  • rent the property to a family member

A family member is a partner, child, parent or any blood relative, apart from a cousin.

Other landlords that do not have to register

  • the council

  • housing associations

  • people who rent out holiday homes

  • care providers, such as nursing homes

  • people renting crofts or farmland to an agricultural tenant

  • religious organisations renting to a religious worker

Check if your landlord is registered

Search the landlord register. You can enter your address or your landlord’s registration number.

Your landlord’s registration number should be in your tenancy agreement.

If you rent from a letting agent, both your landlord and your letting agent must be registered. Check our guidance on letting agents’ responsibilities.

What to do if your landlord is not registered

Remind your landlord they should be registered. Give them time to put it right.

If they do not, report your landlord to the council. They can give your landlord a deadline to register by.

Search for your council's contact details on mygov.scot.

If your landlord still does not register

They could be fined up to £50,000 if they rent out a property without being registered.

The council can also send your landlord a letter which stops them from charging rent. This is called a rent penalty notice. The council will tell you if your landlord cannot charge you rent.

Check what to do if your landlord gets a rent penalty notice.

If your landlord dies

The person who inherits your home has a 6 month grace period to register as a landlord.

Passing the fit and proper persons test

Your landlord has to meet certain criteria before they can register. They must pass the council’s fit and proper person test. They could fail this if they have:

  • been convicted of criminal behaviour

  • discriminated against a tenant

  • harassed or illegally evicted a tenant

  • allowed antisocial behaviour in a home they rented out

  • not done repairs when ordered to by the tribunal

The council will look at each case individually and weigh up the circumstances. For example, having a previous criminal conviction does not guarantee someone will fail the test.

If you think your landlord is not a fit and proper person

You can report your landlord to the council.

Before you do, contact your landlord and explain your concerns. Follow our guidance if:

If your landlord does not put things right, report them to the council. Explain why your landlord is not a fit and proper person. The council can investigate and order your landlord to change their behaviour.

In very serious cases, the council can remove your landlord from the landlord register.

If your landlord fails the test or is removed from the landlord register

Your landlord cannot legally rent out the property and you will have to move out. Your landlord must follow the correct process to evict you. They cannot just kick you out.

Find out your rights if your landlord wants to evict you.

If you need to move out, you should also get a letter from the council. It should tell you:

  • your rights if your landlord wants to evict you

  • where to get advice and assistance on finding a new home

  • how to get help from the council if you're made homeless

If you're concerned about being evicted, speak to an adviser at Shelter Scotland.

Last updated: 9 August 2022

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England