Information for Tenants in
the Private Rented Sector
Information for Tenants in the
Private Rented Sector
Aberdeenshire Council has produced this leaet to provide
information for tenants in the private rented sector.
July 2019
From mountain to sea
Landlord Registration
All private landlords are legally required to be registered with their local authority.
Registration covers all private rented properties.
The landlord needs to provide the following information:
personal details
a list of let properties
letting agent registration number (LARN) if employing an agent.
From 31 January 2018 all letting agents must comply
with the Letting Agent Code of Practice
Each landlord registration application is assessed to
make sure the applicant is a “t and proper” person.
If a landlord is found not to have registered they are asked to do so within 28 days.
If a landlord fails to register when asked, the Council can pursue a Rent Penalty
Notice which means you do not have to pay any rent. If this happens it does not
affect your right to remain in your property as set out in your tenancy agreement.
If you have a query about your landlord’s registration please contact us on the
details below. Any complaints regarding your landlord’s conduct can also be reported
to the Private Housing team on 01467 534853 or by e-mailing
Tenancy Deposit Scheme
All landlords who register with a local authority and take a deposit from a tenant
must also comply with the requirements of the Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland)
Regulations 2011.
A landlord has to register your tenancy deposit within 30 working days of the
tenancy starting with one of the following three approved schemes: My Deposit
Scotland, Safe Deposits Scotland or Letting Protection Scotland. Y
our landlord must
provide you with key information on which scheme they have lodged your deposit
with. The landlord must also ensure the deposit continues to be held by one of the
three approved schemes until it is repaid following the end of the tenancy.
If a deposit is not submitted to a scheme and/or the prescribed information is not
provided to you, then you can apply to The First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing
and Property Chamber) for sanctions against your landlord for non-compliance with
the Regulations. If the First-tier Tribunal is satised that your landlord has failed to
comply, they must order your landlord to pay you up to three times the amount of the
If you move out of your home before realising that your landlord has not complied
with the Regulations, you will have up to three months after the tenancy has ended
to make an application.
You can make an application to The First-tier Tribunal under Chapter 11.103.
Application for order for payment where landlord has not paid the deposit into an
approved scheme.
Your Tenancy Agreement
Tenancies issued after 1 December 2017 will generally be Private Residential
Tenancies. This is an open-ended tenancy and will last until you wish to leave the
property or your landlord uses one (or more) of the 18 grounds for eviction.
It doesn’t matter if your landlord has called the tenancy something else as you will
still have the protection of the private residential tenancy terms.
Your landlord must provide you with the written terms of your tenancy and the
relevant set of notes- either the ‘Easy-read notes for the Scottish Government model
tenancy agreement’ or the ‘Private Residential Tenancy Statutory Terms Supporting
Notes’. These can be given electronically or as a paper copy.
If your landlord has not supplied you with either:
the written terms of your tenancy
the correct notes
or updated terms within 28 days of a change
You can serve your landlord a notice requesting these documents.
Further information on how to do this can be found:
If you do not receive the documents within 28 days you can apply to The First-tier
Tribunal to draw up the terms of your tenancy and/or to make a payment order for
not having been given the correct documents. The payment order can be up to 6
months’ rent, but The First-tier Tribunal will determine the level awarded.
If your tenancy started before 1 December 2017 it is likely you have a short assured
tenancy agreement or an assured tenancy agreement. You can check which type
you have and get more specic information here:
Illegal Premiums
It is illegal to charge tenants any fees other than rent and a refundable deposit.
No other charges such as reference checks, credit checks and inventory fees are
allowed. Y
ou must challenge landlords who have asked for any extra fees. If you
have already paid a premium, you should write to the letting agency or landlord to
ask for the money back. If they don’t return the money then you can take them
to the simple procedure court to claim the fees back. Please advise the Private
Housing Team if you think you have been charged an illegal premium.
Energy Performance Certicate
You should be provided with an Energy Performance Certicate (EPC). An EPC is a
document which states the energy efciency of a building based on the standardised
way the building is used and provides the building owner with a number of ways in
which the efciency could be improved.
Contact SCARF (Save Cash and Reduce Fuel) Telephone 01224 213005
Email: or visit For free impartial advice on
saving on energy bills.
Gas Safety
You should be given a copy of the annual gas safety certificate, showing that all
gas installations and appliances have been checked by a Gas Safe registered
Engineer (this replaced CORGI in 2009). All servicing, repairs or replacement of gas
appliances or installations must be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
Landlords have a legal duty to get all gas appliances in their properties inspected on
an annual basis. As a tenant, you must allow a Gas Safe registered engineer access
to your accommodation to carry out safety checks and, if necessary, repair work.
Your landlord should give you adequate notice of the gas safety inspection.
Smoke Detectors
Your landlord has a duty to provide smoke alarms and to maintain them.
Guidance has recently changed and the following is recommended as a minimum
one functioning smoke alarm in the room which is frequently
used by the occupants for general daytime living purposes
one functioning smoke alarm in every circulation space,
such as hallways and landings
one heat alarm in every kitchen
Until 1 March 2019, the guidance on satisfactory provision for detecting and warning
of res required that a smoke alarm had to be mains powered with a standby power
supply. The principal change, as it affects private landlords, is that from 1 March
2019 the repairing standard can be complied with by either mains-operated alarms
or tamper proof long-life lithium battery alarms. Alarms must also be interlinked
and this can be done via wires (hardwired) or wirelessly (by radio communication).
Further information can be found atre-safety-guidance-private-rented-properties/
The number and position of the alarms will depend on the size and layout of the
house. There should be at least one alarm on each oor.
The landlord should, either install smoke and re detectors that meet the standard
set by Building Regulations or be able to justify why a lesser level of protection is
appropriate in a particular house.
To book a free Home Fire Safety Visit Call 0800 0731 999
Text “FIRE” to 80800 or visit www.
Your landlord has a legal responsibility to make sure the property you
rent meets a minimum standard of repair for private rented properties
- known as the Repairing Standard.
A house meets the Repairing Standard if:
it is wind and watertight and t for human habitation.
the structure and exterior of the house - including drains, gutters and external
pipes - are in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order.
the installations in the house for the supply of water, gas and electricity and for
anitation, space heating and heating water are in a reasonable state of repair
and in proper working order.
any fixtures, fittings and appliances provided by the landlord under the tenancy
are in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order.
any furnishings provided by the landlord under the tenancy can be used
safely for the purpose they are designed for.
the house has satisfactory provision for detecting fires and for giving warning
in the event of fire or suspected fire.
landlords must tell their tenants about the Repairing Standard before the tenancy
starts. If a landlord fails to carry out repairs, the tenant can request that The First-
tier Tribunal consider their case.
the property must have satisfactory provision for giving warning if carbon
monoxide is present in a concentration that is hazardous to health.
As a tenant you should provide access to allow repairs to be carried out. Unless an
emergency, your landlord should give you at least 24 hours’ notice. You may need
to be in to provide access to tradespersons.
The First-tier Tribunal for Scotland
(Housing and Property Chamber) - Repairs
Your landlord has a duty to make sure that the house you rent meets the Repairing
Standard. If you think that your house does not meet this standard, you will be able
to apply to The First Tier Tribunal for a decision on whether your landlord has failed
to meet this duty.
Before you can make an application to The First-tier Tribunal, you have to notify your
landlord that the work needs to be done and give your landlord reasonable time to
complete the work. Repair requests must be made in writing as this may later be
used as evidence should you have to proceed to making an application. A sample
letter for repair requests can be found on the Housing and Property Chamber
website. Should your landlord fail to carry out the repairs in a reasonable timescale
you can then make an application to The First-tier Tribunal who will then begin
investigations into your complaint.
If The First-tier Tribunal nds that your landlord has failed to meet the Repairing
Standard they will issue a Repairing Standard Enforcement Order (RSEO) requiring
the landlord to carry out the work. It is a criminal offence not to comply with a RSEO
without a reasonable excuse, and to re-let a property subject to a RSEO. If your
landlord still fails to comply with the RSEO The First-tier Tribunal will formally notify
Aberdeenshire Council and may issue a Rent Relief Order, which can reduce rent
payable by up to 90%.
It is possible for Aberdeenshire Council to make third party referrals to The First-tier
Tribunal. If you need assistance with applying, please contact the Private Sector
Housing Team on 01467 534853 or e-mail
Electrical Safety
From 1 December 2016 all rented properties should have a valid Electrical
Installation Condition Report. You should be given a copy of this at the start of the
The legal requirement is that inspections are carried out every ve years and more
often if recommended by an electrician. It is good practice to carry out PA
T testing
Where landlords already hold an Electrical Installation Certicate from 2012
onwards, or where one is issued for a new property or after a complete rewiring, it is
not necessary to obtain an EICR until 5 years from the issue date although it will be
necessary to have PAT testing carried out on any appliances they have provided.
Electrical Safety checks must be carried out by a competent electrician, usually a
member of Select, NICEIC or NAPIT. PAT testing can be carried out by a competent
electrician or someone who has completed training in PAT testing. It is possible for
landlords to undertake training and complete their own PAT testing.
Carbon Monoxide Detection
From 1 December 2015 it is a requirement for private rented properties to have
satisfactory provision for giving warning if Carbon Monoxide gas is present in a
concentration that is hazardous to health.
Carbon Monoxide detectors should be installed in all dwellings where there is:
a xed combustion appliance (excluding an appliance used solely for cooking)
in the dwelling. This includes boilers, res (including open res), heaters and
stoves fueled by solid fuel, oil or gas.
a xed combustion appliance in an inter-connected space,
for example, an integral garage.
A Carbon Monoxide detection system is not required in an attached out building or
garage where there is no inter-connection with the house e.g. a door. If there is no
way Carbon Monoxide could reasonably be expected to nd a path into the house
there is no need for a detector.
Water supply
Your rented property should have an adequate piped supply of wholesome water
available within the house for it to meet the Tolerable Standard. If the property you
rent has a private water supply your landlord should have informed you of this. It is
now a requirement for your landlord to have a private water supply tested annually.
This is carried out by Aberdeenshire Council’s Environmental Health department. If
you have concerns over the quality of your water supply you can contact them on
03456 08 12 07.
The First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and
Property Chamber) - Rents
If you feel the rent you are charged is unreasonable you may be able to apply to
The First-tier Tribunal to have a fair rent set. They can only consider applications
where there are sufcient rented properties of a similar nature nearby to give an idea
of the market rent, and where the rent you are being charged is signicantly more
than the market rent. Further information and the form to complete can be found on
The First-tier Tribunal website.
Houses in Multiple Occupancy (HMO)
If you privately rent a property which is occupied by three or more unrelated people
as their main or only residence and you share the use of kitchen or bathroom
facilities, it may require an HMO license. Accommodation occupied by students
during term-time is always regarded as their main residence. If you think your
property should have a licence or have any queries please contact the
HMO Ofcer on 01467 534409 or
Living and Working in the North East
On this website you will nd a guide to help you better understand
services and practices in North East Scotland.et/index.html
Prejudice and Discrimination Reporting
Aberdeenshire Council has a process in place for reporting Prejudice and
Discrimination Incidents.
A prejudice and discrimination incident is any discriminatory act against an
individual which occurs as a result of that person having one of the nine protected
characteristics, under the Equality Act 2010.
It is important that incidents are reported in order for Aberdeenshire Council to take
the appropriate action to prevent unacceptable behaviour from happening again.
The form should be used to report any prejudice or discriminatory incident relating
to Age/ Disability/ Race/Religion or Belief/ Sexual Orientation/Sex (Gender)/
Pregnancy and Maternity/ Marriage and Civil Partnership/Gender reassignment.
A Prejudice and Discrimination Report Form can be accessed
on the Aberdeenshire Council Website:
or by telephoning 01346 585863.
However, if you believe you, or someone else is in danger, it is recommended
that the incident is reported directly to the Police. Call 101 for non-emergencies,
or 999 for emergencies.
Shelter Scotland
Shelter Scotland provide housing advice to private tenants.
The number is free from UK landlines and main mobile networks.
Shelter Scotland Helpline: 0808 800 4444.
Shelter Scotland Tenants’ Engagement Project
Shelter Scotland runs a national forum for private tenants. If you rent from a
landlord or through a letting agent and want to know your rights, speak to other
tenants and help make renting fit and fair for all – you can sign up here:
From talking about inspections to looking at letting agent regulations, the forum’s
aim is to help you, as a tenant, to share your experiences and directly inuence
change. The group has monthly newsletters, a busy Facebook page and regularly
meet up in person to talk about what changes need to happen to make your house,
your home.
Sign up here to connect with other
renters, and help make renting t and fair for all. Search on Facebook under Shelter
Scotland Private Tenants’ Forum
Concerns about the management
of your tenancy or property
Please contact the Private Sector Housing Team at Aberdeenshire Council if you
believe your landlord has failed to meet his or her duties. We will be happy to advise
and assist you.
Private Sector Housing Team Contact Details:
Tel. No. 01467 534853
If you need a copy of this document in an alternative
language or in large print or in Braille please telephone:
01467 534853.
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Produced by Aberdeenshire Council – GDT25168 - July 2019