As the landlord, you are responsible for the majority of repairs in the property. You must ensure that:
- The house is wind and water tight and reasonably fit for human habitation.
- The structure and exterior of the house including drains, gutters and external pipes are in reasonable repair and 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 reasonable repair and proper working order.
- Pipes, tanks, boilers, meters and cables, toilets, radiators and other heaters - must all be in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order.
- Any fixtures, fittings and appliances provided under the tenancy are in reasonable repair and proper working order.
- Any furnishings provided under the tenancy are capable of being used safely for the purpose for which they are designed.
- The property must have a way (such as smoke alarms wired to the mains electricity supply - not battery powered) of detecting fires and for giving warning in the event of a fire or suspected fire.
- The property must have a way to warn if carbon monoxide is present in a concentration that is dangerous for people.
Related links to these areas can be found in the Related Sites section of this page.
The above responsibilities come from the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 and are known as the Repairing Standard. If a property fails to meet this standard, the tenant has the right to apply to the First Tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber) . The Tribunal has powers to serve notice requiring the landlord to carry out the repairs and may also reduce the rent due on the property by up to 90% until such time as the repairs have been completed. Further information is available from the Tribunal website available through the 'Related Sites' section of this web page.
It is the landlord's duty to ensure the property meets the Repairing Standard at the start of the tenancy and at all times during it. The landlord must inspect the property before the tenancy starts in order to identify any work necessary to meet the Repairing Standard. If work is required the tenant must be notified of this. Once the tenancy has started the duty to carry out repairs only applies where the landlord is aware the work is required, for example because the tenant has notified the landlord. Further information regarding the Repairing Standard is available in the 'Related Links' section of this page.
The landlord has a duty to notify the tenant of the Repairing Standard at the beginning of the tenancy and this is included within the model private residential tenancy agreement.
The tenant has a responsibility to ensure that they do not damage the fittings, fixtures or furniture through misuse or neglect. Your tenant also has a responsibility to report all necessary repairs promptly and to ensure you are given adequate access to carry them out.
There are some repairs that can be negotiated with your tenant. For example, you can decide if you want your tenant to be responsible for internal decoration or if you will do this. This should be stated clearly on the tenancy agreement. You cannot contract out of the Repairing Standard without making an application to the Sheriff.
Although mains gas is not available in Orkney there are many properties which use bottled Gas appliances. As a landlord you have a legal duty to ensure that your premises and appliances are safe. Appliances which burn any fossil fuel such as gas, coal or oil, can produce carbon monoxide if they have not been fitted properly or serviced regularly.
You are required to have all gas appliances checked for safety once a year, this check must be carried out by a contractor who is registered with the Confederation of Registered Gas Installers (CORGI). You must keep a record of these checks and produce them if asked to do so, the tenant must also be given a copy of the test record. New regulations have been introduced which require all new flueless gas appliances installed on or after 1 June 2008 in multi-dwelling buildings must be fitted with a flame supervision device. For further information on these requirements the' Related Sites' section of this page.