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By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
Landlords fail to meet standards

FIVE private landlords have had their registration refused or revoked by the council for failing to meet property standards.

The action was taken by the council’s licensing panel, who heard that 12 rented homes in Newton Stewart and Wigtown had failed to meet the repairing standard.
Repairing Standard Enforcement Orders were issued relating to various deficiencies and defects that had not been attended to by the landlords, despite having been advised by tenants.
And a further two properties in Dumfries and Locharbriggs had not met the standard when visited by officials, failing to meet current smoke detection and electrical safety requirements, as well as general maintenance issues. One landlord also had a previous conviction.
The requirement for private landlords to register with the local authority of the area in which the rented property is situated was introduced in April 2006.
They have a legal responsibility to meet standards set out in the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006.
Action can be taken when standards fail, including orders for the work to be carried out or for a reduction in rent.
In addition, a local authority can review the fit and proper person status of a landlord and ultimately remove them from the register.
A council spokesman said: “The council aims to offer advice and assistance to landlords and tenants and to seek compliance with legal requirements, but where landlords fail to meet standards or fail to take action to comply, then enforcement action may be the only remaining option available and the decisions of the licensing panel demonstrate that this action will be taken.”
He added: “Most landlords provide accommodation that meets the standards, however, all private landlords should satisfy themselves that any changes introduced are complied with. The most recent changes relate to electrical safety and carbon monoxide detection, with smoke detection requirements also having been increased recently.
“Landlords have a duty to ensure they meet the required standards.”

To find out more, go to www.rentingscotland.org or www.prhpscotland.gov.uk

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