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How do I register as a landlord?

Tim Williamson
Tim Williamson


It is a criminal offence for Landlords who do not register in Scotland. Fines of up to £50,000, prison and other punishments can also be handed out for non-compliance.

Landlord Registration came to Scotland in April 2006 with the introduction of the Antisocial Behaviour (Scotland) Act 2004.

Registration was an addition to the Act following the deaths in 1999 of two students, James Fraser, and Daniel Heron, in a Glasgow basement flat . They died trapped in a fire with barred windows and other safety issues ignored by the owner.

As a result, the landlord, Mr. Harpal Singh, was jailed for two and a half years , following the fatal accident inquiry into the student deaths.

WHY REGISTER?

Since 2006, there have been a series of different Acts and Regulations introduced in Scotland that require landlord registration numbers to be shown. These include leases, the tenant deposit prescribed notice, lodging a deposit online and property marketing.

The mandatory section of a Private Residential Tenancy (PRT) lease requires the owner’s registration number/s to be listed.

The prescribed tenancy deposit notice, informing tenants of where their deposit is held, requires a landlord registration number.

Tenant deposits have had to be lodged since 2012 with one of three Scottish Government approved Tenancy Deposit Schemes. The schemes require a registration number as part of the process of lodging a deposit with them. They are also required to check the validity of any registration number.

Failure to lodge a deposit and/or issue the prescribed information can result in a penalty to a landlord of three times the deposit, paid to the tenant.

Promoting your property online or other advertisement has required a landlord registration number and EPC value since June 2013.

Landlord registration brings public accountability to a landlord for their property and tenants.

Local authorities are required to administer the local rental market. They have full access to the details of any landlord registered in their area. Enforcement officers are employed to investigate and prosecute errant landlords or landlords with anti-social tenants. They also use the register to inform and educate landlords as part of their support to the private rented sector.

Finally, the landlord register offers HMRC the opportunity to identify landlords who are in the rental market. This is important because rental income is deemed as an investment income and taxable. Landlords are required to declare rental income with HMRC, even if the annual income is below a landlord’s tax allowance.

FINES AND PENALTIES

As with any legislation, there are fines and penalties for those who do not apply comply.

Failure to register can result in a fine of up to £50,000 and a ban from being registered for up to five years.

An unregistered landlord could be served a rent penalty notice (RPN) which halts rental payments for a period set by the council.

An anti-social behaviour notice can be served on a landlord where a tenant has caused a nuisance involving the police and the Council antisocial behaviour team.

ailure to comply with such a notice could result in a fine of up to £5,000.

In a worst-case scenario, the council can issue a management control order where they will take over control of the property for up to one year and receive the rent.
There are £1000 fines when registering landlords:

  • Gives the council false information
  • Don’t give any information they’ve been asked for
  • Don’t tell the council of any changes in the information they’ve given
  • Didn’t tell them if they have appointed a letting agent

Clearly the need to Register as a landlord is something that can neither be ignored nor dismissed.

WHO NEEDS TO REGISTER

There is a list of landlords who do not need to register. These include university accommodation, school accommodation, registered care homes, and other specific cases.

The list is shown at:
https://www.mygov.scot/renting-your-property-out/registration/
To be accepted on the register a landlord must be ‘fit and proper’. Those with criminal records, in prison, other legal orders or disqualified from the register can be deemed unsuitable landlords and refused registration.

FEES

The registration fee is the same, however many owners are on the property deeds. Each owner must have their own registration where there are multiple owners of a property.

The fee is £66 for the first property and an additional £15 for each additional property . The property registration period lasts for three years.

However, if you have a late registration and you miss your three-year anniversary, then there is a late application fee of £132 pounds per property per person.

Landlords need to register properties in the local authority areas their property is located. Landlords with properties in other council areas must register with each Local authority.

HOW TO APPLY

Landlords can either apply online, which is the simplest and easiest method, or the local authorities can post out a form to complete. Online registration completes the job very quickly.

The website to go to is:
https://www.landlordregistrationscotland.gov.uk/

Registrations can be rejected if a landlord does not confirm all the safety compliance for a property has been caried out.

PUBLIC REGISTER

Registered landlords’ names and home addresses are displayed on a public register.
The purpose of the public register is for anyone to find out the name and the address of a landlord and thereby contact them. Where a landlord has a letting agent, they can have the agent’s details listed in place of their own.

Letting agents in Scotland must be registered with the Scottish Governments rather than the local authority and are issued with a LARN number. When filling in the registration application there is a letting agent section. This is where the LARN number is added to tie the agent to the property.

Letting agents who do not have a LARN number are acting illegally and should be reported to your local authority licencing team.

If any landlord wants more information on registration or any other aspect of letting please give me a call on 01292 289289 or reach out to [email protected]. I and the team will be happy to help. Key-Lets registration is LARN1903012.


Call Tim on 01292 289289 or Email: [email protected]

We have a number of helpful videos on our YouTube channel.

You can message me through Linked In.

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TIM WILLIAMSON

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