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
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.
From 31 January 2018 all letting agents operating in Scotland must comply with the Letting Agent Code of Practice. The Scottish Letting Agent Register also opens for applications from letting agents. All letting agents in Scotland must have applied to register with Scottish Ministers before 1 October 2018.
The Scottish Government has written to all letting agents on its database to highlight these changes.
Agents can make an application on Scottish Letting Agent Register website
Information on letting agent registration, including on how to apply, is available at Letting agent registration webpage
As part of Shelter Scotland's partnership with the Scottish Government to raise awareness of the new Private Residential Tenancy, we have produced free learning resources to support understanding of this tenancy and the Private Rented Sector. These are;
Private Residential Tenancy
Comprehensive course provides details about the new tenancy including the rights and responsibilities for all parties. It also includes all legal paperwork and repossession procedures.
For further information visit Shelter website
Private Rented Sector for Landlords
This course consists of 3 modules - preparing your property to let, managing your tenancy and ending your tenancy. We have developed this course to help landlords navigate the maze of information on private tenancies. It will Landlords understand their responsibilities and rights and those of their tenants.
For further information visit Shelter website
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. 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.
From 11 June 2019 the fee for landlord registration is £65 and a further £15 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 email@example.com or by telephone to 01506 281252 if you require an application.
The discounted fee does not apply to posted applications.
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.
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.
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.
Fees until 31st March 2020
The Private Landlord Registration (Fee) (Scotland) Regulations 2019 came into force in June 2019. Section 3 of the regulations makes provision for the fees to be adjusted, as such from Wednesday 1 April 2020 the fees will increased in line with the Consumer Prices Index (CPI). The new fees are shown below;
Fees as of 1st April 2020
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 £130 late penalty fee.
There is no provision in legislation for a right to appeal against the additional fee.
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.
You can make an enquiry 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 enquiry. You can make an enquiry in relation to;
- Property Condition
- Anti-Social Behaviour
- Rent/Tenancy Agreement
- Any Other Issues
If the council is satisfied that a landlord has failed to make an application to be registered, has been de-registered or there application has been refused and the landlord continues to let out the property, the council may serve a Rent Penalty Notice.
The Rent Penalty Notice suspends the rent liability of a tenant residing within the unregistered property.
Where a landlord is found not to be registered, an initial letter advising them of their legal requirements is issued to the landlord requesting them to register within 14 days. If no application is received within this time scale the landlord is issued with a second reminder letter giving the landlord a further 7 days to register. If again no application is received a final reminder is issued to the landlord giving them a final 7 days in which to register.
If not application has been received the landlord will be issued with a Rent Penalty Notice in accordance with Section 94 of the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004 suspending rent payments on each property let by the landlord.
The notice will give a period of 28 days prior to its commencement during which the landlord have the opportunity to still register. If the landlord registers within the 28 days, the RPM will be revoked prior to commencement.
Service of the RPM will be authorised by the Head of Housing, Customer and Building Services and enforced by the Safer Neighbourhood Team. In the first instance, the notice will be served by first class recorded delivery to both landlord and tenant(s). Failure of delivery will result in the notice being served by Sheriff Officers.
The council will ensure that advice and assistance is given to the tenant with regards to the financial implications arising from the service of the notice. The council will ensure that tenants are given advice and assistance concerning; security of tenure, benefit maximisation, housing benefit, homelessness service and the homeless duties of the Council.
West Lothian Council is committed to providing free advice and assistance to landlords and agents in the sector. If you have any questions to private letting, an officer from the Landlord Registration Team will be happy to assist you. Please contact the Landlord Registration Team on 01506 281252 or firstname.lastname@example.org