We often get asked by landlords, “what certificates do I need to let out my property to comply with Scottish law?”
Below is a list of compliance certificates, a landlord must have to rent out a (non HMO) residential property in Scotland:
- Gas Safety Certificate – CP12 Report
- EICR – Electrical Installation Condition Report
- Smoke & Heat Alarm Certificate
- PAT Test – (Portable Appliance Test or now known as, EET Electrical Equipment Testing.
- LRA – (Legionella Risk Assessment)
- EPC – (Energy Performance Certificate)
Gas Safety Certificate
Following an inspection of a property’s gas installation, a formal document known as a Gas Safety Certificate / CP12 Report is created. This certification attests to the boiler’s and gas system’s upkeep, safety, and compliance with British regulations.
All rental homes in Scotland must have a valid gas safety certificate completed by a Gas Safe Registered Engineer.
Landlord Gas Safety Certificates have a 12-month expiration date but must be retained for at least two years. Prior to the certificate’s 12-month expiration date, the certificate must be renewed.
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 enables landlords to perform their gas safety check up to two months before the expiration of the prior certificate and still keep the original deadline date, just as if the previous check had been completed exactly 12 months prior.
EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report)
A formal report known as an EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) is created after a certified electrician thoroughly inspects the electrical installation of a property.
In addition to describing the electrical installation of the property, the EICR will make recommendations for improvements and record any damage, degradation, flaws, or other circumstances that could be dangerous.
Your rental property must have an EICR conducted BEFORE tenants move in to ensure their safety. EICR certificates have a maximum lifespan of 5 years, but a qualified electrician might suggest having an inspection done earlier than that depending on the quality of the property’s electrical installation.
It is important to note that in Scotland:
- An EICR must be completed to a satisfactory standard prior to a tenant moving into a rental property.
- A copy of the EICR must be provided to an incoming tenant.
- Should a renewal of an existing EICR be required mid tenancy, the tenant should be provided a copy of the renewed certificate.
Smoke & Heat Alarm Certificate
To reach the tolerable standard, EVERY HOME in Scotland must be equipped with a functional fire detection and warning system.
You must have a certificate as a landlord demonstrating that your property has the necessary heat and smoke alarms, that they are installed to a high standard, and that they comply with all applicable laws.
An overview of the new legislation introduced in February 2022 can be seen below:
- One smoke alarm installed in the room most frequently used for general daytime living purposes;
- One smoke alarm in every circulation space on each story, such as hallways and landings;
- One heat alarm installed in every kitchen, and;
- All alarms need to be mounted on the ceiling, and;
- All smoke & heat alarms need to be interlinked.
You are legally required to have your rental property’s smoke alarms and heat alarms checked once every 10 years, although we’d recommend getting your property’s fire alarms examined on an annual basis if your house IS NOT an HMO (this will apply to most homes). Heat and smoke alarms may malfunction suddenly and go undiscovered until it is too late.
Your smoke and heat alarms must be inspected yearly if your property IS an HMO (House in Multiple Occupation).
PAT Testing (now known as EEC – Electrical Equipment Testing)
Private landlords in Scotland are legally required to ensure that their rental properties and the appliances in them are in good repair both at the beginning of a tenancy and throughout the duration of the tenancy.
All equipment that the landlord provides as part of the tenancy agreement MUST be in acceptable repair and in good functioning condition.
A PAT certificate must be obtained by the landlord prior to signing a tenancy agreement, and it must be given to the tenant upon the signing of a new tenancy agreement or the completion of a new PAT certificate. PAT certificates must be kept by landlords for six years after the date of the appliance inspection.
It is important to remember that:
- Electrical equipment in rental properties must be kept in good working order
- Regular appliance testing must be completed
- PAT/EET certificates must be retained for a minimum of 6 years
LRA – Legionella Risk Assessment
A type of bacterium called legionella is frequently found in water systems, including water tanks, pipes, and air conditioning systems.
If the right circumstances exist, legionella bacteria may develop, raising the likelihood that one of your tenants could develop Legionnaires’ disease.
In the UK, landlords are required by law to conduct legionella risk assessments; failure to do so could lead to significant fines or even jail.
Landlords have a responsibility to keep track of all inspections and take action to prevent legionnaires’ disease outbreaks in their properties. Although it is not required by law, doing this is prudent since you could face criminal charges if your tenant contracts legionnaires disease and becomes extremely ill.
It is important to remember:
- Landlords must ensure that tenants are not exposed to risks in regard to their health and safety
- Landlords must demonstrate regular inspection of their properties water system
- Retain copies of risk assessments carried out
Although there is no law requiring landlords to perform a LRA every year, landlords still have a legal obligation to maintain the health and safety of their tenants by keeping the property free of risks like legionnaires’ disease.
Every Scottish property has a different legionella risk assessment recurrence rate, but we would encourage any duty holder managing a rental property to get an LRA done every year just to be safe. Bacteria multiply quickly!
An official publication from the UK Health and Safety Executive on the prevention of legionellosis in water systems is available here
EPC – Energy Performance Certificate
An Energy Performance is a certificate that a Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA) issues following a formal assessment of a building’s energy efficiency. From A (extremely efficient) to G, the energy efficiency of a building is rated by an EPC (inefficient).
The EPC of a property provides owners with an estimate of the cost to maintain and heat the building as well as the general amount of carbon dioxide emissions.
A property’s energy efficiency can be increased by following the advice of an EPC, which will raise the property’s energy efficiency rating.
For every home they list for rent, all landlords and letting agents are required by law to have an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) in place.
Although it’s recommended to renew your EPC once any work is completed that could have an impact on your property’s energy efficiency rating, an EPC is only valid for ten years (eg: upgrading to double-glazed windows, changing your heating system, switching to energy efficient lighting, etc).
After 10 years, another energy efficiency assessment must be arranged to produce a new EPC Certificate.
An EPC certificate:
- Indicates how energy efficient a property is
- Must be freely available to prospective buyers and tenants. All property adverts must include the EPC rating.
- Is valid for 10 years upon which it will require renewed
- Must have a minimum rating of “D” for rental properties