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Letting agent slams Scotlands' 'nightmare' new repairs rules

repairing standards

New safety regulations due to impact private landlords in Scotland have been labelled a logistical nightmare by one Edinburgh letting agent.

Revisions to the Scottish government’s Repairing Standard Guidance become law on 1st March but Jonathan Gordon, MD of Clan Gordon, says two of the requirements – to replace lead water pipes and install electrical safety equipment – either don’t provide enough time to get the work done or are unclear. He wants the government to push back the date.

New guidance on removing lead pipework state there must be no lead solder or fittings which means, because this continued to be used legally until 1987 and illegally after that time, landlords can’t be sure it is lead-free because lead solder looks identical to lead-free solder, he explains.

“In tenement buildings built prior to 1970 the vertical pipes that allow fresh water to rise from lower floors to upper floors will invariably be made from lead. So, replacing these will be a logistical nightmare.”


The new guidance also compels landlords to install one or more RCDs in properties so Clan Gordon has spent the last six months checking 600-plus electrical safety certificates.

“But with four weeks to go, the guidance changed to say that, as a minimum, there must be one RCD on the socket circuits,” adds Gordon.

“This means we must go back through the 236 properties that were ‘compliant’ by virtue of having at least one RCD, to try and discover which of those don’t have an RCD on the socket circuit specifically – and have that actioned by 1st March.”


Landlords in England could soon face similar burdensome legislation as Labour has promised to extend proposed social housing maintenance ‘Awaab's Law’ legislation to cover private landlords.

Fleur Anderson’s private members’ bill - Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (Amendment) – has its second reading in the Commons on 1st March.


scottish rental reforms