Landlord Registration in England and Scotland

We are lucky in England that as a private landlord we do not have to register but in Scotland the rules are different. Here’s what you need to know.

If you are a private landlord in the UK then you may have to be formally registered. For those of us who live in England there are no formal arrangements although governments have mooted the idea that there may be at some point in the future. In fact there was agreement but for now there is no requirement. However, there are different rules for letting agents and private landlords in Scotland.

Landlord Registration in Scotland

If you are a private landlord in Scotland then you will need to apply and be registered and if you don’t then you are committing a criminal offence. Each person will need to undertake a test to confirm that they are a “fit a proper” person to let properties out on the open market. This of course covers all the major cities including Glasgow and Edinburgh and also every other town and city.

The scheme is designed to protect tenants from disreputable landlords and to ensure that the properties they are letting out or renting are of a good standard. Local authorities manage the registration process and are able to remove people from the register for various reasons. This is a legal requirement with large fines if you rent property and are not on the register. It is your duty to apply.

Each of the local councils then holds a formal register of all the people that have applied and been accepted. The overall register for all private landlords and lettings agents can be found on the Scottish Parliament’s website. Some landlords are exempt from registration although it’s always worth checking to see if your activities fall under these agreements. Some of the most common properties that are exempt include :

  • care homes
  • boarding schools and accommodation
  • holiday homes
  • a property you live in most of or all of the time
  • crofts and agricultural tenancies

How do I register as a landlord ?

It’s easy to begin the process and it can be undertaken on the landlord registration website or by post to the local council. You will need to provide basic information about yourself and the properties you let including your name, address, birth date, address of the properties, any agent information together with any convictions you may have.

Other notes

If you are a tenant you can find out if your landlord is part of the register. If they are not you can inform them that they need to apply or simply contact your local council who will chase them up. Some people may not know that they need to undertake this task as it’s fairly new (since 2006) and the first of its kind in Scotland.

Although letting agents are required to register themselves each letting agency that the landlord uses is entered into their application process and held on the database. Of course there is a small administration fee to be paid to carry out the application but there are discounts for more than one property.