Review of landlord registration application ‘a fantastic opportunity’ to raise awareness, says CIH Scotland
In its response to the Government, the Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland has called for all landlords to make clear they are complying with all of their legal obligations when applying to the landlord register and for meaningful enforcement when standards are not being met.
The landlord registration system was established in 2006 and registers are managed locally by Councils. All landlords must be registered and have to pass a ‘fit and proper person’ test to make sure they meet the required standards to let properties. The proposals include increasing registration fees in line with inflation, revision of discounts and some changes to the information that landlords have to provide when they apply to the register.
The proposals include a requirement for applicants to confirm that they comply with a number of legal obligations. These could include statements relating to the condition and energy efficiency of the property; gas, electrical and fire safety; and legal obligations relating to the tenancy and deposit.
CIH Scotland wants to see all landlords proactively declare their compliance with the law which it believes will encourage higher standards in the private rented sector.
In addition, the Institute has supported calls for a reduced registration fee for landlords who have passed a training course or are members of a professional body to incentivise voluntary skilling up and has warned the Government against a disproportionate fee increase which would ultimately be met by tenants through higher rents.
Ashley Campbell, CIH Scotland’s policy and practice manager said:
“Reviewing the landlord registration application presents a fantastic opportunity to ensure that landlords are aware of and are complying with their legal obligations. Our members are very supportive of measures that will support good practice in the sector. We understand that local authorities are under pressure and that increasing fees will help them to manage the registration process but it will be important to make sure that those landlords who do follow the rules don’t end up subsidising the ones who don’t.
We need to make sure that landlords have access to the information, advice and training they need to be able to provide high quality homes and services to the 330,000 households now renting privately across Scotland. At the same time, we want to see robust enforcement action taken against those who put tenants in danger by refusing to meet basic standards. “
Notes to Editors
1. The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards. Our goal is simple – to provide housing professionals with the advice, support and knowledge they need to be brilliant. CIH is a registered charity and not-for-profit organisation. This means that the money we make is put back into the organisation and funds the activities we carry out to support the housing sector. We have a diverse membership of people who work in both the public and private sectors, in 20 countries on five continents across the world. Further information is available at: www.cih.org
2. The full response to the consultation can be found on the CIH Scotland website.
3. For further information, please contact Callum Chomczuk, Deputy Director at CIH Scotland on 0131 224 7759 or email firstname.lastname@example.org