Repairs and improvements
The Repairing Standard, contained in the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006, covers the legal and contractual obligations of private landlords to ensure that a property meets a minimum physical standard.
Landlords must carry out a pre-tenancy check of their property to identify work required to meet the Repairing Standard (described below) and notify tenants of any such work.
Landlords also have a duty to repair and maintain their property from the tenancy start date and throughout the tenancy. This includes a duty to make good any damage caused by doing this work. On becoming aware of a defect, landlords must complete the work within a reasonable time.
A privately rented property must meet the Repairing Standard as follows:
- the property must be wind and water tight and in all other respects reasonably fit for people to live in.
- the structure and exterior (including drains, gutters and external pipes) must be in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order.
- installations for supplying water, gas and electricity and for sanitation, space heating and heating water must be in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order.
- any fixtures, fittings and appliances that the landlord provides under the tenancy must be in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order.
- any furnishings that the landlord provides under the tenancy must be capable of being used safely for the purpose for which they are designed.
- the property must have a satisfactory way of detecting fires and for giving warning in the event of a fire or suspected fire.
- the property must have satisfactory provision for giving warning if carbon monoxide is present in a concentration that is hazardous to health.
To comply with the Repairing Standard, private landlords must have regard to the guidance issued by Scottish Ministers on:
If, after a landlord has been notified of any problem, it is not attended to satisfactorily or if there is disagreement about whether or not there is a problem, then tenants have the right to refer the matter to the Housing and Property Chamber First Tier Tribunal for Scotland.
The Tribunal has power to require a landlord to carry out work necessary to meet the standard.
Rights of access to a property
The landlord is entitled to enter the property to inspect any repairs required or to carry out repairs. The tenant is required to give the landlord reasonable access to do this.
The landlord should normally arrange a suitable time with the tenant, but can enter the property, at a reasonable time of day, provided they have given the tenant 24 hours' notice in writing. (If an emergency repair is required, the landlord can claim immediate access.)