News In Focus
Ministers review landlord registration
The Scottish Government is seeking views from private landlords and tenants' groups on proposed changes to its landlord registration scheme.
The vast majority of Scottish private landlords (80%) are now registered with their local authority. Local authorities are continuing to approach the small minority of landlords who have not applied to ensure they comply with the law.
Following a recent review of how the registration process works in practice, the Scottish Government wants to hear from interested parties as it prepares amendments to the secondary legislation to further improve the system. The consultation will run until 10 October 2008.
Key proposals to be consulted on include changes to the fee and discount structure, simplifying the structure for both local authorities and landlords. This would include increasing the online discount from 10% to 20%, increasing the discount for charities from 80% to 100%, and changes to the discounts available for landlords with portfolios in more than one local authority.
Other proposals are to change exemptions, including whether the position of resident landlords, who are currently exempt from registration, should be reviewed; and to extend the advice regulations so that local authorities need to provide advice to tenants who report an unregistered landlord.
Communities Minister Stewart Maxwell said: "We want to improve the system even further and that's why we're consulting on changes to the secondary legislation we intend to bring forward.
"We think our proposals will streamline the system, making it easier for landlords to apply to and councils to administer. At the same time, we want to make sure that tenants are getting the right advice and support from their local authorities."