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Landlords Face Anti-Social Behaviour Regulations

New legislation proposed by the Scottish Executive could see private landlords served with anti-social behaviour notices if their tenants become troublesome.

This not only applies to the named tenant but also other occupants and visitors to the property. Subsequently the landlords could be barred from collecting rent until further notice, subject to a large fine, and ultimately refused permission to let property in Scotland.

We believe this will place an unnecessary additional burden on private landlords.

Within the lettings sector, the huge majority of landlords are responsible people providing scarce rented accommodation to families and private individuals, with on the whole very little evidence of any noise or inconvenience to neighbours.

Of all the 370 properties let by CKD Galbraith throughout Scotland, we received a total of two complaints from neighbours last year.

In addition, the majority of private landlords use an accredited letting agent to manage the letting of their property. Agents are regulated by the Association of Rental Lettings Agents in Scotland and ensure that properties are compliant with all relevant legislation.

Good agents will inspect a property on a quarterly basis, will be scrupulous in taking up references from tenants and will take every reasonable step to ensure that neighbours never have cause to complain about a tenant. The hassle-factor for agent and landlord is such that it is really not in anyone's interest to accept any individual as a tenant without conducting thorough background checks.

Already we have seen the costs imposed on landlords spiralling, as new regulations have been introduced on an almost annual basis. Landlords must already comply quite properly with stringent regulations concerning fire, health and safety, access for tenants with disabilities, and asbestos, to name but a few. This is a further cost that will have to be passed on to the tenant, ultimately in higher rent charges.

Tenants who behave unreasonably themselves are also subject to the full force of the law already, whether through existing anti-social behaviour legislation, or the noise and statutory nuisance or breach of the peace acts. Reputable letting agents have for many years in fact been working to ensure that any tenant they let to is a responsible and upright citizen it would quite simply be a disaster for the agent not to do so!

Further details of the impact of this legislation are available by contacting one of our lettings team, located throughout Scotland