The Private Rented Sector (PRS) will see further legislative changes over the next few years, with the next date for the diary just weeks away. These particular changes relate to Scotland's Repairing Standard and here we summarise what to expect.

The Repairing Standard is a basic level of repair that private rented properties must meet. It is a landlord's duty to make sure the property they're renting out meets the Repairing Standard, whose requirements include: the property being wind and watertight; the installations for water, gas, electricity, sanitation and heating being in a reasonable state of repair and working order; any furnishings provided by the landlord being safely usable for the purpose they were designed. Further details on the current Repairing Standard can be found on the mygov.scot website.

As was reported last week on the ARLA Propertymark website, draft legislation to introduce amendments to current legislation has been laid before parliament, with the first proposed amendments expected to come into force on Friday 1st March.

One amendment will present exceptions to a landlord's repairing duties, namely: in instances of a repair required to a common part owned with others, if the majority of owners do not consent to having the repair carried out and the landlord therefore does not have the necessary rights to carry out the repair, the property will be deemed as not having failed the Repairing Standard; The Repairing Standard does not apply to tenancy of a house which has been let for a holiday and does not exceed 31 days.

The other proposed amendment effective 1st March is the incorporation of the Tolerable Standard into the Repairing Standard. The Tolerable Standard, found in the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987, is a basic level of repair your property must meet to make it fit for a person to live in. Again, further information on the Tolerable Standard can be found at mygov.scot.

Beyond the above amendments, further amendments are proposed to come into force in the coming years...

On 1st February 2021 the requirements for a house to have satisfactory fire detection alarms and carbon monoxide alarms will be removed from the Repairing Standard and added to the Tolerable Standard. 1st March 2024 will see the Repairing Standard amended to include a series of points, such as residual current devices to help reduce the risk of fire and electrocution.

As changes and developments in Scotland's PRS continue, make sure you keep up to date via industry news outlets, Scottish Government information and of course SafeDeposits Scotland's own blog and social media pages.