The Repairing Standard, which has applied to other private rented housing since 2006, covers the legal and contractual obligations of private landlords in Scotland to ensure that a property meets a minimum physical standard.
Landlords must carry out a pre-tenancy check of their property to identify work required to meet the Repairing Standard and notify tenants of any such work. Landlords also have a duty to repair and maintain their property from the tenancy start date and throughout the tenancy.
This includes a duty to make good any damage caused by doing this work. On becoming aware of a defect, landlords must complete the work within a reasonable time.
From March 2027 all farmhouses let as part of an agricultural tenancy must meet the repairing standard, which is currently as follows:
- the property must be wind and watertight and in all other respects reasonably fit for people to live in.
- the structure and exterior (including drains, gutters and external pipes) must be in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order.
- installations for supplying water, gas and electricity and for sanitation, space heating and heating water must be in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order.
- any fixtures, fittings and appliances that the landlord provides under the tenancy must be in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order.
- any furnishings that the landlord provides under the tenancy must be capable of being used safely for the purpose for which they are designed.
- the property must have a satisfactory way of detecting fires and for giving warning in the event of a fire or suspected fire.
- the property must have satisfactory provision for giving warning if carbon monoxide is present in a concentration that is hazardous to health.
- The property must meet the tolerable standard.
There are further changes being made to the Repairing Standard, which will be effective from 1 March 2024. The standard from then is extending to:
- Include a requirement for safely accessible food storage and food preparation space.
- Specify that there must be a fixed heating system.
- Specify that where the house is a flat in a tenement, the tenant is able to safely access and use any common parts of the tenement, such as common closes.
- Specify that where the house is a flat in a tenement, common doors must be secure and fitted with satisfactory locks, including a requirement that locks must allow users to open them from the inside without a key so that they do not inhibit exit in the event of a fire.
- Specify that electrical installations must include a residual current device (a device to reduce the risk of electrocution and fire by breaking the circuit in the event of a fault).
- Extend the existing duty to ensure that gas and electrical installations are in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order, to any other type of fuel.
- Specify that the house should be free of lead pipes from the boundary stopcock to the kitchen tap, and that if this cannot be confirmed, a water quality test must be carried out.