Sue from Shelter Scotland has written a blog about the Tenant Information Packs that landlords are legally obliged to provide to new tenants in Scotland
Have you rented your property out or renewed a lease since 1 May? I’m guessing most landlords will have heard about the Tenant Information Pack. From 1 May 2013 you have to give your assured and short assured tenants a copy of this pack from the Scottish Government, if you’re a private landlord in Scotland. Now that all deposits should be registered safely in a tenancy deposit scheme this month, there’s another thing on your to do list. Private landlords have a lot of things to remember and do and that’s why organisations such as the National Landlords Association exist, but landlords who don’t hand over a copy of the Tenant Information Pack (TIP) can find themselves facing a £500 fine.
We’ve long been talking about tenants’ rights, that’s nothing new. Our ongoing campaign, rethink renting, is for a private rented sector that gives tenants more security than the current legal minimum of six months. So we were pleased when Shelter Scotland was asked by the Scottish Government to create a website to support the Tenant Information Pack, called www.RentingScotland.org, which includes guides on:
- Renting your property out
- Starting a tenancy as a landlord
- Dealing with disputes with tenants
- Dealing with antisocial behaviour as a landlord
- Ending a tenancy as a landlord
www.RentingScotland.org has industry-wide support, with the governance group containing the NLA, NUS and the Scottish Association of Landlords, among others. The guides break the pack down into step-by-step stages for landlords and tenants and let you create your own online checklists and further reading. Basics, like getting yourself registered, keeping your property safe and dealing with rent and deposits are core to the guides. But the site also explains some of the more technical aspects like what is an AT5 and what should a tenancy agreement include? Answers on a postcard please…
Shelter Scotland is really excited about the potential of the pack and the site for supporting engaged, empowered tenants. On the flipside, it’s a reminder that the responsibility to get things right in the end lies with landlords – not your letting agent – on various fronts. You’re still responsible if your letting agent doesn’t give your tenant a TIP, just as you are if they charge them illegal fees or don’t try to stop anti social behaviour. Apart from giving tenants the TIP, what would you say is the best tip you’ve got for a new landlord?
This blog was provided by Shelter Scotland.
Notes: NLA members can also access information and guidance about the above from the NLA’s Online Library.