The law is raining down on the private rented sector and over the next few years there will be major legal changes affecting you and your tenants. Are you ready for more changes in the private rented sector?
Ahead of the pack is the Private Rented Housing (Scotland) Act 2011 which should be in force by the end of 2011. If you're really keen or just looking for a cure for insomnia, the entire act can be found here. Meanwhile, keep reading for a handy summary of the changes that will soon be upon you.
Landlord Registration and HMO Licensing
The Act will change the rules on landlord registration and HMO licensing. Perhaps most importantly increasing the maximum fine for failure to register or for HMO offences to a whopping £50,000!
Local authorities will soon have the power to serve an overcrowding notice on private lets which they consider to be overcrowded. Failure to comply with such a notice could incur a fine of £1000.
It will be the end of an age old argument as to whether an AT6 is required when recovering a property by way of the section 33 procedure. The Act clarifies that only a Notice to Quit and the section 33 notice itself will be necessary.
Tenant Information Packs
These will become compulsory when the Act comes into force and any failure to issue one could incur a fine of £500.
Deposits and Pre-tenancy payments
A bone of contention for many landlords and tenants, the Act will clarify the position as to what amounts to a lawful deposit and an acceptable pre-tenancy payment. Separately, a national Tenancy Deposit Scheme will also be introduced under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 and landlords will be legally obliged to lodge any tenants' deposits with an approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme.
The nuts and bolts of these changes are still to be finalised. Rest assured that we will work closely with landlords' groups during the consultation.
Please get in touch with our LetLaw team if you would like advice or information on the changes in the private rented sector.