Landlords must meet standards
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.