Landlord registration and accreditation

This topic explains landlords must show they are suitable to let out property. If you are a landlord looking for registration information, or considering accreditation, see Information for Private Landlords.

Landlord Registration

For tenants’ protection most private landlords, or managing agents, need to be registered with the council. (Exemptions include holiday lets, houses providing care services regulated by the care commission, properties with resident landlords and properties let to landlords’ relatives.) Landlords must provide their name and address, contact information and details of all their let properties and any agent managing them.

Local authorities need to be satisfied that both the landlord and any agent employed are fit and proper. Councils consider a wide range of information, including:

  • Offences such as fraud, dishonesty, violence, firearms, sexual offences or drugs
  • Unlawful discrimination regarding sex, colour, race, ethnic or national origins or disability
  • Contravention of the laws relating to housing or landlord and tenant relations
  • Evidence that a landlord has failed to act over antisocial behaviour affecting their let
  • Anything else that the local authority may deem relevant

A landlord who does not register is guilty of an offence. A local authority may serve a notice suspending tenants’ rent payments, and/or seek a criminal prosecution. A local authority may seek to remove a landlord from the register if it finds that s/he is not a fit and proper person.

Licensing of houses in multiple occupation

Landlords of properties let to more than two (unrelated) persons or families will need to hold a licence for a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO). This is in addition to registering as a landlord. HMO licences are issued by the council.

Landlord accreditation

Landlord Accreditation is a voluntary scheme whereby landlords can show that they are letting to the high standards outlined in the Scottish Core Standards for Accredited Landlords. The scheme is run by Landlord Accreditation Scotland (LAS) and supported by the Scottish Government.

Checking a landlord's credentials

Tenants can check if their Landlord is registered or verify his/her details, by using the Public Search Facility on the Landlord Registration Website, by calling 01875 824368 or by emailing

All tenancies must be with registered landlords. If a tenant discovers that their landlord is not registered, they should report this immediately to East Lothian Council, on the email address given above.

Before you agree to rent from a landlord or agent that claims accreditation, ask them to show you their accreditation certificate or quote their accreditation number. To verify details, contact Landlord Accreditation Scotland on 0131 553 2211.