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Scottish Association of Landlords

Tuesday, 25th November, 2014

Private landlords in Scotland are now required to have smoke detection systems in place at their rental properties of the same standard and extent as is required for new-build homes.

The Repairing Standard and subsequent guidance from Scottish Ministers require a mains-wired, interlinked system with detectors in circulation areas, kitchens and rooms used for daytime living.

The rules are retrospective and, as such, apply to all private rented sector homes.

Meanwhile, social sector landlords are simply required to provide one smoke detector per property, which can be battery powered (and the landlord is not even required to ensure it is working).

More stringent systems are only required in social housing if the landlord is refurbishing the property to such an extent that building regulations apply.

SAL has highlighted this inequality in safety standards to the housing minister Margaret Burgess.

In her response, Ms Burgess recognises the difference in standards, acknowledges that the safety of all tenants is paramount, regardless of tenure, and agrees with the general principle that social and private tenants should be equally protected.

The Scottish Government is taking steps to address the current differences in standards and has established a forum to consider a new cross-tenure housing standard.

SAL has been invited to represent the interests of Scottish landlords on the forum and will press for parity and a simplified requirement for landlords that is not subject to change each time buildings regulations for new-build properties are amended.


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