The law & you

Harvey Lets Landlords feel confident that they are complying with the law

We are here to help you get your residential property ready for rental. It can be daunting keeping up with property letting regulations but we are here to help you every step of the way. Here is a short summary of your legal obligation: Remember Harvey Lets are here to keep you right.

Landlord registration

Since 30 April 2006, all private landlords in Scotland are required to register with the local authority (or authorities) where they are or will be renting out property. It is a criminal offence to rent out your property without having submitted a valid application for registration. Your registration will be valid for three years from the date the local authority approves your application. After three years, you will be required to apply to renew your registration.

To register your property, please contact your local authority or register it online at

House in Multiple Occupation

If a property is occupied by three or more unrelated person, it is classified as a “House in multiple occupancy” or H.M.O. A mandatory government licensing scheme is in place for such properties and all HMO’s must be registered.

Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988, as amended 1993

These regulations set new levels of fire resistance for domestic upholstered furniture, furnishings and other products containing upholstery. The regulations include sensible measures to improve the fire safety of materials used in their construction. Effective 1st March 1993, landlords letting residential property will be expected to ensure that any soft furniture complies with the regulations. The main provisions are:

  • Upholstered articles (i.e. beds, sofas, armchairs etc.) must have fire resistant filling material
  • Upholstered articles must have passed a match resistance test or, if of certain kinds (such as cotton or silk) be used with a fire resistant liner.
  • The combination of the cover fabric and the filling material must have passed a cigarette resistance test.

Electrical Safety

Changes on electrical safety came into effect from 1st December 2015 and guidance was updated with respect to electrical safety requirements which includes regular safety inspections of supply installation (the wiring of the property) and all electrical fixtures, fittings and appliances (including the number of plugs loaded onto wall sockets).

It is now mandatory that at the start of EACH new tenancy (where an electrical check has not been carried out in the previous 5 years), and at least once every five years during the course of the Tenancy, an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) Certificate and a Portable Appliance Test (PAT) Certificate be obtained and that these tests must be carried out and the certificates signed by a qualified and accredited electrician. Specific guidance can be found using the Private Rented Housing Panel website.

In addition, private landlords have a duty to ensure safety of the common electrical supply which includes obtaining assurance on compliance with regulations associated with the supply of electricity as it affects common stair lighting and controlled entry electrical supply.

Gas safety (Carbon Monoxide Detectors)

Over and above existing gas safety regulations, the new Act prescribes that there must be “satisfactory provision for giving warning if carbon monoxide is present in a concentration hazardous to health”. This means that it is now MANDATORY for private landlords to install CO detectors where there is a gas boiler or other gas appliance within the rented out property. This applies right across the United Kingdom and equivalent legislation has been passed by the Westminster Government. If your property requires a CO detector we will obtain and put one in your property at a cost of £25.00 + vat.

Fire safety (Smoke Alarms)

Revised guidance makes it mandatory that one fire and smoke detector & alarm to be fitted:

• In the room which is most frequently used by the occupant(s) for general daytime living purposes.
• In every circulation space (halls and landings).
• On each floor where there is more than one floor, and
• In every kitchen.
• All alarms must be interlinked.