Understanding the Latest Changes to Scotland’s Housing Standards

In 2019, the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 (Modification of the Repairing Standard) Regulations 2019 introduced significant updates to the Repairing Standard, aimed at improving the quality and safety of rented accommodation across Scotland.

Now, as of March 1, 2024, further changes have come into effect, reinforcing the commitment to providing adequate housing for tenants. Let’s delve into what these changes entail and how they impact both landlords and tenants.

  1. Safely Accessible Food Storage and Preparation Space: One of the notable additions to the Repairing Standard is the requirement for rented properties to have safely accessible food storage and preparation space. This ensures that tenants have adequate facilities for storing and preparing their meals, contributing to their overall well-being.
  2. Fixed Heating System: The amendment to the heating installations now mandates that rented properties must have a fixed heating system in place. This aims to enhance the comfort and warmth of tenants’ homes, especially during colder months, promoting healthier living conditions.
  3. Access to Common Parts in Flats: For tenants residing in flats, the Repairing Standard has been amended to ensure that they can safely access and utilise any common parts of the building. This includes corridors, stairwells, and other communal areas, improving overall safety and accessibility.
  4. Secure Common Doors: To enhance security measures, any common doors within rental properties must now be secure and fitted with locks that can be opened from the inside without a key. This adds an extra layer of protection for tenants, giving them peace of mind in their living environment.
  5. Residual Current Device for Electricity Supply Installations: All electricity supply installations must include a residual current device (RCD), which breaks the circuit in the event of a fault. This serves to prevent electric shock and reduce the risk of electrical accidents, ensuring the safety of tenants.
  6. Maintenance of Other Fuels: The requirement for proper working order and reasonable state of repair now extends to “other fuels” in addition to electricity and gas installations. This broader scope ensures that all energy sources within rented properties are maintained to a high standard, promoting safety and efficiency.

The Scottish Government has provided comprehensive guidance incorporating these changes, offering landlords and tenants clarity on their rights and responsibilities. This guidance serves as a valuable resource for navigating the updated Repairing Standard and ensuring compliance with the latest regulations.

For landlords, staying informed about these changes is essential to maintain compliance and provide quality accommodation for tenants. Regular inspections and maintenance checks can help address any issues promptly and uphold the standards outlined in the Repairing Standard.

Similarly, tenants should familiarise themselves with their rights under the Repairing Standard and communicate with their landlords if they have any concerns about the condition of their rental property. By working together, landlords and tenants can create safe and comfortable living environments that meet the standards set forth by the Scottish Government.

The recent changes to Scotland’s Housing Standards underscore the commitment to improving the quality of rental accommodation and ensuring the safety and well-being of tenants. By adhering to the updated Repairing Standard and collaborating effectively, landlords and tenants can contribute to a positive renting experience for all parties involved.

We are supporting our existing landlords in meeting the updated Repairing Standard, prioritising the safety and well-being of tenants.

You can find the full Repairing Standard on the government website here.

Nykky, Director @ brikk haus 

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