Land­lords must meet stan­dards

Rutherglen Reformer - - CLASSIFIED - Lorraine Howard

The Re­pair­ing Stan­dard guide is an es­sen­tial doc­u­ment for any land­lord.

The Stan­dard should en­sure their prop­erty meets both at the start and through­out the du­ra­tion of the ten­ancy. It came into ef­fect in Septem­ber 2007 and im­por­tant changes are tak­ing place this year that mean there must be an up­date of the elec­tri­cal equip­ment and car­bon monox­ide de­tec­tors. This week, David Toner of Ren­tolease based in Ayr­shire, who has over 20 years ex­pe­ri­ence out­lines his es­sen­tial guide to the Stan­dard and warns land­lords that they could face crim­i­nal charges if they ig­nore the Stan­dard’s codes of prac­tice. He writes... The Stan­dard places a clear obli­ga­tion on pri­vate land­lords to en­sure the prop­erty meets six re­quire­ments: • The prop­erty is wind and wa­ter­tight • The struc­ture and ex­te­rior of the house is 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 san­i­ta­tion, 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 are in a rea­son­able state of re­pair and in proper work­ing or­der • The house has sat­is­fac­tory pro­vi­sion for de­tect­ing fires and giv­ing warn­ing in the event of fire or sus­pected fire. An in­spec­tion should be car­ried out of the prop­erty prior to the start of the ten­ancy with the Re­pair­ing Stan­dard in mind. It is es­sen­tial that land­lords ad­here to in­stalling and main­tain­ing Car­bon Monox­ide and Smoke Alarms and check the elec­tri­cal safety of the prop­erty. Reg­u­lar in­spec­tions should be car­ried out dur­ing the ten­ancy and a land­lord’s li­a­bil­ity for re­pairs will only ap­ply dur­ing the ten­ancy when the ten­ant no­ti­fies the land­lord or the land­lord oth­er­wise be­comes aware that work re­quires to be car­ried out. The age, char­ac­ter and prospec­tive life and lo­cal­ity of the house should also be con­sid­ered when as­sess­ing if the prop­erty meets the Re­pair­ing Stan­dard. The work must be car­ried out within a rea­son­able time pe­riod of the land­lord be­ing no­ti­fied by the ten­ant or be­com­ing aware that the work is re­quired. Land­lords must in­form ten­ants of the Re­pair­ing Stan­dard pro­ce­dure and re­fer­ral ar­range­ments to the Pri­vate Rented Hous­ing Panel at the com­mence­ment of the ten­ancy or be­fore. What are the con­se­quences of fail­ing to com­ply? The ten­ant can re­port the land­lord to the Pri­vate Rented Hous­ing Panel (PRHP) if the work is not car­ried out within a rea­son­able pe­riod of time. The PRHP will de­cide whether to re­fer a case to a Pri­vate Rented Hous­ing Com­mit­tee ( PRHC) who will as­sess if the land­lord has breached the Re­pair­ing Stan­dard. If a PRHC de­cide that the Re­pair­ing Stan­dard has been breached they can is­sue a Re­pair­ing Stan­dard En­force­ment Or­der spec­i­fy­ing the work re­quired and the time­frame within which the work must be com­pleted, which will be not less than 21 days.

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