by John Gell
18:13 PM, 11th June 2013, About 10 years ago 2
Since 1st May 2013 landlords in Scotland have had a new statutory obligation to give new tenants a Tenant Information Pack, before the start of the tenancy, setting out key information about –
Responsible landlords and agents will have been providing this information already, but the Scottish Government’s aim is to ensure that all landlords and agents do so, so that all tenants in Scotland receive the same degree of information.
So if you’re a landlord of a property in Scotland and there’s a new tenancy coming up, what do you have to do?
A template Tenant Information Pack can be downloaded here, and a quick look through it will show you the type of information you need to provide.
It’s mandatory to use this template, and you shouldn’t adapt it in any way other, of course, than inserting the relevant information. Always ensure that you download the latest version of the Pack from the Scottish Government website, as the intention is that it be updated from time to time and you’ll need to make sure you’re using the latest version. The above links will take you to the most recent version, so bookmark them rather than storing hard copies of the form for future use.
You can give the Pack to your tenants either in hard copy or electronically. Joint tenants may be given one copy between them or you can give them one each.
As well as providing you new tenants with a Tenant Information Pack you will need to obtain their acknowledgement that they have received the Pack. If you send the Pack to your tenants electronically, an e-mail from them stating that they have received it will suffice.
If you use a letting agent to manage your property, you should ensure that your agent is dealing with this properly on your behalf. If he fails to do so, then the liability will fall on you, so it’s wise to check the contents of your agreement with your agent to ensure that you have recourse to compensation should he fail to discharge your legal obligations.
Well, you’ll be committing a criminal offence and there’s a fine of up to £500.
Whether the law will be enforced is another matter, and enforcement of other property legislation such as landlord registration and the recent requirements to include landlord registration numbers and EPC banding in property advertisements has been notably lacking as far as I can see. But the requirement is well intentioned and the law is the law, so why risk a hefty fine and criminal record?