Improving access to information
New landlord registration system goes live.
A new digital application for Scotland’s register of landlords has gone live across the country.
The application will make it much easier for anyone to search the public register of landlords; for landlords to apply for or renew their registration; and for local authorities to maintain the register in their areas. Developed by Registers of Scotland for the Scottish Government, it is aligned with Government Digital Standards, and can be accessed using a smartphone, tablet or computer.
Kevin Stewart, Minister for Local Government and Housing, said:
“This new application provides a better and more accessible service for those who need to use it. Crucially, it will reduce the time that local authority staff need to spend administering the system, freeing them up to target those landlords who either don’t or won’t comply with the landlord registration requirements. That will help to improve standards for the 700,000 people whose home is in the private rented sector.
“I am delighted by the collaboration between Registers of Scotland, the Scottish Government and local authorities on this project, and am grateful for the hard work of those who worked on it, including the many local authority landlord registration officers who helped to test it before it went live today.”
Sheenagh Adams, the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland said:
“By working with the Scottish Government and local authorities, Registers of Scotland has developed a new landlord registration application that will bring significant benefits to the sector as a whole. The new application is a key part of our business transformation, utilising digital technologies that allow us to deliver even better value for the public. The collaboration has been extremely successful, and I would like to thank all of those involved for their hard work.”
Registers of Scotland
Registers of Scotland (RoS) is the non-ministerial government department responsible for compiling and maintaining 18 public registers. These relate to land, property, and other legal documents. Our registers ensure that every property in Scotland is protected for its owners, which in turn enables confident land and property transactions. Such a stable land registration system is recognised by the World Bank as underpinning the Scottish economy.
As a trading fund, we are entirely self-funded. Our income is dependent on the economic climate and the buoyancy of the property market, as most of our revenue comes from people buying and selling property.
Landlord registration was introduced by the Anti-social Behaviour (Scotland) Act 2004. This requires local authorities to maintain a register of all landlords letting out properties in their area. Before a landlord can be registered they must meet a fit and proper person test.
Since the on-line register was introduced in 2006, digital technology and standards have evolved. The new system has been built to reflect users’ needs, making it straightforward for landlords to apply for and renew their registration.
RoS and the Scottish Government collaborated on this project over the last 12 months. RoS has 400 years’ experience of handling property data and maintaining registers. RoS and the Scottish Government also collaborated with local authority landlord registration officers so that the application enables them to use the registration process and the data in the register to ensure that landlords are complying with their legal responsibilities and to target those who do not.
This is one of a number of measures that the Scottish Government is taking to improve standards in the Private Rented Sector. The new Private Residential Tenancy will provide more security stability and predictability for tenants, the new Housing and Property Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal will deal with disputes in the sector and we are introducing a robust framework for regulating letting agents. All of these measures will be implemented by the end of 2017 and together they will drive up standards in the sector.