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Private Landlord Registration

All private owners and landlords renting residential property in Scotland have to apply for registration in the register of landlords.

Private Landlord Registration Forum

Our first Landlord Registration Forum was held on the 23 November 2017 at West Lothian College from 6pm until 9pm.  The event was very successful, with around 70 landlords and letting agents attending. Below are copies of all presentations and handouts which were available at the forum. We would like to thank all of you who attended and we look forward to seeing you at the next event.

Forum presentations

pdf icon Landlord Registration Forum - Housing Benefit Update presentation [256kb]

pdf icon Landlord Registration Forum - Letting Agent Regulation presentation [718kb]

pdf icon Landlord Registration Forum - SAL presentation [598kb]

pdf icon Landlord Registration Forum - UC DWP presentation [456kb]

pdf icon Landlord Registration Forum - UC Flexibilities FAQ Leaflet [208kb]

pdf icon Landlord Registration Forum - UC Flexibilities Leaflet [257kb]

pdf icon Landlord Registration Forum - UC WLC presentation [442kb]

All private owners and landlords renting residential property in Scotland are required to register with their local Council every 3 years, so we can make sure they keep good standards of practice. Information about registered landlords is available on the Scottish Government's National Landlord Registration so members of the public can find out if their landlord is registered.  The aim of landlord registration is to make sure that all private landlords in Scotland are fit and proper people to be letting residential property. The requirement to register helps councils to remove disreputable landlords from the market and protect tenants and the wider community from the impact of antisocial behaviour and mismanaged property. It is a legal requirement for all landlords to keep their applications and details up to date.  Private Landlords are reminded to keep the application, details and records up to date when there is a change of circumstances, e.g. change of home address, agents, sell or buy a property, etc.

How do you register as a 'Private Landlord'?

The easiest way to register is online at  Landlord Registration Scotland This is a Scottish Government website and contains useful information in relation to landlord registration.

You can use the Scottish Government website to apply for registration with any local authority in Scotland. If you want to register with more than one local authority, you can apply to all of them in one go - you only need to enter your personal or company details once. By applying online you can make one payment to cover all your applications. The website allows you to apply for registration, pay online and receive a 10% discount.  You must register with the local authority in each area your rented properties are situated. A discount of 50% is available for applications made to multiple local authorities.

The fee for landlord registration is £55 and a further £11 for each property you have listed in your portfolio. 

Otherwise, applications can be submitted by post together with a cheque to West Lothian Council, Civic Centre, Howden South Road, Livingston, EH54 6FF and you can email landlordregistration@westlothian.gov.uk or by telephone to 01506 281252 if you require an application.

The discounted fee does not apply to posted applications.

What happens after you register?

Having applied and paid for landlord registration, your registration is live. You are then legally able to let your property at this point. You should use the registration number sent from the Scottish Government payment notification on any correspondence.

Once your registration has been approved, a confirmation letter and welcome pack will be issued. Every 3 years you must renew your landlord registration. Using the email address that you provided in the application process, we will email you a reminder 3 months and 1 month before it is due to expire. If you have not provided an email address, reminders will be issued using other contact details you have provided. It is important that you have kept your contact details up to date at all times.

If you are no longer acting as a landlord, you should contact the Council at the earliest date to advise. Your details will then be removed from the register. You can use the above website to inform local authorities of any changes to your details, during the period of your registration including adding on any additional properties.

It is a legal requirement for all landlords to provide tenants with an information pack.

This is also supported by a new website Renting Scotland which offers practical renting guides for tenants and landlords in Scotland's private rented sector.

Queries on the tenant information pack can be directed to tip@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

Where can you get further information?

You can get further information on Private Landlord Registration for you or your tenants at -

There is a dedicated Scottish Government website Renting Scotland which offers practical renting guides for tenants and landlords in Scotland's private rented sector.

There is also a downloadable pdf icon information pack [740kb] available and it is a legal requirement for all landlords to provide tenants with an information pack. 

 

Queries on the tenant information pack can be directed to tip@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

Unregistered Landlords

A landlord who does not apply to register and continues to let property is guilty of an offence, and the council may serve a notice suspending the tenants' rent payments. Alternatively, we can seek a criminal prosecution against an unregistered landlord who continues to let property. The maximum fine is £50,000 per offence. If you believe someone is not registered please fill in the online query form.

Late Fees

Enforcement action will be taken against landlords who failed to register or renew their applications.  It is a criminal offence to let property if you are not properly registered, and this could ultimately land in court, upon summary conviction you may be liable for a fine up to level 5 on the standards scale, currently £50,000. Failure to renew or register after two requests being sent will automatically incur a £110 late penalty fee.

There is no provision in legislation for a right to appeal against the additional fee.

Fit and Proper Person

To be registered, owners and their agents must be fit and proper to let residential property. Local authorities must take account of any evidence that the person has:

  • Committed any offence involving fraud, dishonesty, violence, drugs, discrimination, firearms or sexual offences
  • Practiced unlawful discrimination in connection to any business
  • Contravened any provision of the law relating to housing, or landlord and tenant law, and the person's actions, or failure to act, in relation to any antisocial behavior affecting a house they let or manage, and must take account of the fact and nature of any agency arrangement.
  • Acted, or failed to act, in relation to any antisocial behavior affecting a house they let or manage.
  • We must take into account of the fact and nature of any agency arrangement.

Please note Landlord Registration may request a criminal record certificate when we suspect that information has been withheld or is inaccurate. You are also required by law to make Landlord Registration aware if anything changes which may affect your registration throughout the period of your registration.

It is a criminal offence to let property without being properly registered with the local authority. A fine not exceeding £50,000 can be imposed for operating as an unregistered landlord.

Query

You can make a complaint in relation to a landlord by completing our online query form, which will then be submit to the Landlord Registration Team. Make sure you give your most up to date contact details as the team may need to contact you to gather more information or provide you with an outcome of your complaint,  You can make a complaint in relation to;

  • Property Condition
  • Anti-Social Behaviour
  • Rent/Tenancy Agreement
  • Any Other Issues