Private Landlords - Advice & Guidance
Being a private landlord comes with both rights and responsibilities. Some of these responsibilities are regulated by West Lothian Council.
If you rent out a property to for people to live in, you must register with the council
- Details of how the council deals with applications can be found at Registration Scheme for Private Landlords
- The Scottish Government web pages explaining Landlord Registration and allowing online registration can be found at https://www.landlordregistrationscotland.gov.uk (new window)
A benefit of being registered is that Environmental Health staff can contact a landlord in an emergency, often saving time, money and damage to a property.
Maintaining your properties
The Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 (new window) makes it clear that owners are responsible for the maintenance of their properties. This applies to private rented properties too.
- The Private Rented Housing Panel (new window) (PRHP) deals with disputes between landlords and tenants. General advice for landlords can be found at http://www.prhpscotland.gov.uk/prhp/135.26.30.html (new window). Only a tenant may report a problem to the PRHP. (The tenant must first let the landlord know about the problem in writing and give the landlord a reasonable amount of time to resolve the problem.) In cases of disrepair to a property, the landlord must meet the 'Repairing Standard (new window)', laid out in the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006, Section 13 (new window). Environmental Health (new window) cannot make an application to the PRHP on behalf of a tenant, but will provide a brief written report on the reported problems.
- Environmental Health (new window) will deal with urgent problems, such as burst pipes, dangerous gas or electrical systems, alarms or where the property fails to meet the more basic 'Tolerable Standard', laid out in the Housing (Scotland) Act, 2006, Section 11 (new window)
- Environmental Health (new window) will deal with problems of communal or shared disrepair in buildings where ownership is shared such as flats, tenements and '4 in a block' housing.
Landlord and tenant law
The council provides an advice service to tenants of private landlords at the Advice Shop, Bathgate. In some cases, this will involve it contacting landlords to resolve tenancy related issues.
If you rent to three or more people from three or more families, you must have a licence for a House in Multiple Occupation. For more information, see:
- Licences - homes in multiple occupancy to find out how to apply for a licence
- Multiple Occupancy Homes to find out about the required structural and management standards
Being Even Better
Both West Lothian Council and the Scottish Government encourage landlords to be accredited. West Lothian Council can help with training to become accredited.
Just thinking about it?
For more information about the required standards, please see Becoming a Landlord and Renting Your Property.
If you are a private landlord (or are thinking of becoming one) and you want to know about your rights and responsibilities, then contact Environmental Health.