Consultation on changes to landlord registration fees and applications
The Scottish Government has recently consulted on making changes to the landlord registration system. The changes being considered are: –
- an inflationary increase in the principal fee/property fee from £55/£11 to £70/£14;
- requiring landlords to confirm and/or evidence that they are adhering to legislation including safety certificates, EPC and legionnaires requirements in order to ensure landlords are aware of/adhering to their responsibilities;
- an extra charge (approximately £2) on the principal fee to cover the cost of running the online registration system;
- removing the 10% online application discount, the 100% joint owner discount and the 50% multiple area discount to better reflect the administrative costs in processing applications;
- charging a fee to those who need to update the register because of a change in circumstances to cover the cost of processing these updates;
- offering discounts to landlords who have undergone training or are members of an accreditation scheme in order to reward best practice.
The full consultation paper can be found at https://consult.gov.scot/landlord-registration/registration-fee/ SAL submitted a response on behalf of members which can be viewed via this link: Landlord Registration consultation: SAL response. While we consider that most of the proposed changes to the prescribed information are justified, we have serious concerns about the proposals to increase fees and remove discounts. We believe that if local authorities and the registration website operated more effectively and efficiently then the current charges would be more than sufficient to cover the costs incurred. It was notable and concerning that very little data was provided within the consultation paper on costs incurred by local authorities to justify any increase in charges to landlords. We also highlighted in our response that while some local authorities use the registration database to provide a service to landlords in disseminating information on changes to legislation, best practice and training opportunities, most do not.