Landlord Advice & Guidance

Landlord Registration

Private landlords are required to apply for registration with their local authority under Part 8 of the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004. Operating as an unregistered landlord is a criminal offence which may be subject to a penalty on conviction of up to £50,000 and a ban on letting properties of up to 5 years.

Please see our Private Landlord Registration page for further guidance.

You can apply online at the Scottish Government’s Landlord Registration Website.



Landlords in Scotland are legally required to hold an HMO Licence if they accommodate 3 or more unrelated persons who share kitchen and or bathroom facilities. It is an offence to operate as an unlicensed HMO.  As a Landlord, if you are unsure if a licence is required, please contact the HMO Unit by emailing

Further information can be found on our Houses in Multiple Occupation webpage.

Landlords have a duty to repair and maintain a rental property from the tenancy start date and throughout the tenancy. A privately rented property must meet the Repairing Standard.  For more information visit the Repairing Standard website. 

A landlord must give their tenant(s) a written tenancy agreement. The introduction of the new Private Residential Tenancy (PRT) agreement means that landlords can no longer issue/create an Assured or Short Assured tenancy agreement from the 1st December 2017 onwards. Existing tenancies that were signed before 1st December 2017 will continue as they are until they end.

The Scottish Government website provides further information about PRT’s:

The Scottish Government has produced a Model Private Residential Tenancy Agreement to assist landlords. 

When a tenant is provided with a Private Residential Tenancy Agreement they must also be provided with a copy of the Easy Read Notes for the Scottish Government Model Private Residential Tenancy Agreement that explains all of the different parts of a tenancy agreement.

For information regarding ending your tenants Private Residential Tenancy please visit Private residential tenancy: information for landlords

All landlords who register with a local authority and take a deposit from a tenant must comply with requirements of the Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations 2011. 

A landlord must register the tenants deposit within 30 working days of the tenancy starting with one of the following three approved schemes: 

Landlords must provide tenants with information on which scheme their deposit is lodged with. If a deposit is not submitted to a scheme and information is not provided, tenants can apply to the Housing and Property Chamber - First-Tier Tribunal for Scotland against you for non-compliance with the Regulations. 

If the First-tier Tribunal is satisfied that you have failed to comply, they will order you (the landlord) to pay the tenant up to three times the amount of the deposit. 

If your property does not meet the Repairing Standard, your tenant will be able to apply to The First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber) for a decision on whether you as a landlord have breached the Repairing Standard.

Your tenant must notify you that work needs to be done and give you a reasonable time to complete the work, before making an application. Any repair requests from your tenant must be made in writing as this may later be used as evidence if an application is submitted. 

Should you fail to carry out repairs in a reasonable timescale your tenant can submit an application to the First-tier Tribunal who will begin investigations into their complaint. 

It’s possible for Aberdeen City Council to make an application directly to the First-tier Tribunal if it appears you are failing to meet the Repairing Standard. If the First-tier Tribunal finds that you have failed to meet the Repairing Standard they will issue a Repairing Standard Enforcement Order (RSEO) requiring you to carry out the work. It is a criminal offence not to comply with a RSEO without a reasonable excuse, and to re-let a property subject to a RSEO. 

Further information available on the First- Tier Tribunal website

As a landlord you have a Right of Entry to your property to: 

  1. View its state and condition for the purpose of determining whether the house meets the Repairing Standard
  2. Carrying out any work necessary to comply with the Repairing Standard or Repairing Standard Enforcement Order. Tenants should receive notice in writing of the need for access and why it is required. 

If you are having difficulty accessing the property you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal for assistance. 

‘Cuckooing' is a term used to describe someone having their home taken over by an Organised Crime Group for the purposes of using the premises, usually to deal or store drugs. Private rentals are attractive to Organised Crime Groups, and Police Scotland has produced a factsheet for private landlords to help identify where cuckooing is happening. Find out more about cuckooing.


The Private Landlord Support Officer (PLSO) is a dedicated resource who works with Private Landlords across Aberdeen City and offers advice and guidance on tenancy management and property standards.

The PLSO can also provide the following:
•    Access to advice on good practice and legislative requirements
•    Information on other Council services and external organisations
•    The latest guidance and information available in relation to the Private Rented Sector

Additionally, the PLSO can liaise with tenants to access appropriate support and provide information on other Council services.

Please note that the Private Landlord Support Officer cannot provide legal advice.  This should be sought independently.
You can contact the PLSO by emailing

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