The Latest Proposals for Landlord Registration in Scotland

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Since Landlord Registration was introduced in April 2006, the Private Rented Sector has grown from 8% of households to 15% of households. This means that around 770,000 people now live in the Private Rented Sector in Scotland today.

I was recently invited to take part in the Scottish Government’s Landlord Registration Consultation process and am really pleased that I made the effort to go along last Tuesday – not least because it was a stunning morning here in Edinburgh and the journey from the West End down to The Scottish Government’s offices at Victoria Quay in Leith on my bike was great!

Landlord Registration is managed by Local Authorities throughout Scotland and, whilst there are few obvious direct benefits to landlords, Local Authorities do need to monitor the Private Rented Sector in their area and promote best practice. Fees have not increased since 2006 and a key purpose of the review is to increase fees in line with costs. The meeting advised that most Local Authorities run their Landlord Registration departments at a loss!

Before the meeting I was advised over coffee that sparks would fly when the agenda got to increased fees by someone from the public sector who had attended a similar consultation meeting in a different area. In the event it was a positive discussion with most of the time spent looking at the suggested information that landlords will be required to supply in order to register, or renew their registration. Moving forward, this is likely to be much more demanding and require landlords to provide extensive confirmation of property and landlord compliance.

It is proposed that fees are increased as follows:

Local Authority Application/Renewal Fee: Current – £55.00    Proposed – £70.00

Individual Property Fee:   Current – £11.00         Proposed – £14.00

Failure to Register Fee:    Current – 110.00         Proposed – £139.00

In 2016, failure to register (after the relevant local authority had issued two separate requests for the landlord to register) resulted in 8,146 failure to register fees being applied.

In conclusion, conscientious landlords have nothing to fear from the significantly increased compliance demands of new proposals and what will effectively be “Landlord Registration Plus”. Complacent landlords on the other hand will have their work cut out!

The new proposals are likely to be in place at the end of 2018/start of 2019. Further details of the consultation process which closes on 7th June can be viewed here:

https://consult.gov.scot/landlord-registration/registration-fee/

Ewan Foreman

Managing Director, 1LET

www.1let.co.uk

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