Legislation and Regualations
- EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) – This check, carried out by a qualified electrician, must now be in place before the start of a new tenancy (from 1st December 2015). For existing tenancies that started before this date, all properties must have an EICR in place by 1st December 2016. The certificate is valid for up to 5 years depending on recommendation from the electrician.
- PAT (portable appliance test) is also required and recommend generally on an annual basis at same time as annual safety checks, although legislation states up to 5 years depending on what the assessor recommends.
- Smoke and heat alarms – Mains wired, interconnected smoke and heat alarms are required in hallways, all main living areas and a heat alarm is required in the kitchen. Once installed the alarms have a life span of 10 years.
Legionella Risk Assessments
The health and Safety Executive has also introduced the responsibility of Legionella Management and risk assessment onto the landlord/agent and as such we recommend having this completed at your safety checks for £36 (or £48 if a separate visit). If you wish to opt out of this please let your property manager know.
Carbon Monoxide detectors
From 1st December 2015 a carbon monoxide detector will be required to be installed in all rooms which have a gas appliance or a flue running through. In order to avoid gas appliances being shut down at the gas safety inspection until it is fitted (and subsequent re-callout cost), we instruct engineers to install the detector at the same visit and negotiated a cost of £29 incl. VAT to fit whilst there. These will be mounted on a screw within 4m of the gas appliance to stop from going missing and can be easily seen.
For new properties, please remember that in order to advertise your property we require an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) for the property and your Landlord Registration number. Landlord registration lasts for 3 years and is one of the few things (along with arranging landlord insurance and your self-assessment) that we cannot do on your behalf. Please ensure that your details are up to date by visiting www.landlordregistrationscotland.gov.uk – more detailed information can be found by clicking HERE
Additional Tax Changes
Removal of 10% Wear and Tear Allowance meaning the full cost of furnishings will be deductible against rental income from April 2016.
Housing (Scotland) Bill – This shall be the largest change to the private rented sector in Scotland when it goes through Parliament which is likely to be mid-2016 – we will update landlords when this comes into place.