Landlord registration: late application fees
The Scottish Government has issued advice on late application fees, reminding landlords of the importance of ensuring their email address on the register is correct and they regularly check spam and junk email folders as registration renewal reminders sometimes end up there. Full details of the advice can be read here:
Existing landlords, including joint owners, must lodge a renewal application before the current registration expires if they are still letting property. Failure to do so is a criminal offence and the supporting legislation dictates that, where a registration has been allowed to expire, a late application fee shall be payable. This fee is currently set at £110 and will rise to £130 in early June.
Although the majority of landlords renew their registrations in good time, the number of landlords incurring a late application fee is higher than we would estimate.
We are keen to help landlords maintain compliance and avoid the late application fee, please see the following advice:
- The landlord registration system issues reminders by email at 90 days and 30 days before a registration expires, please ensure the email address held on your registration is current and correct. Landlords are required by law to keep their registration details up to date.
- Many of our emails nowadays can end up in our junk or spam folders, please check these folders at regular intervals. There is a three-month window between the first reminder and a registration expiry which allows ample time for periodic checking of these folders.
- The landlord registration system was enhanced further this year by introducing a summary page at the start of the “Your Registration” journey (https://landlordregistrationscotland.gov.uk/). This lists all a landlord’s registrations, expiry dates and the let properties. If you are unsure when your registration expires please take a moment to check.
- Joint owners must register/renew in their own right; a lead owner cannot register or renew on behalf of second or subsequent owners. Late application fees are applied to joint owners whose registrations have lapsed.
- The late application fee is the first enforcement step for landlords letting property without a valid registration. The next step is typically a rent penalty notice, where rent is ceased for all let properties. The ultimate sanction is to have a registration revoked and for prosecution action to be considered. Please keep within the law and ensure that registrations are kept up to date
For further information on the forthcoming changes to landlord registration fees, please see Scottish Government’s website: https://www.mygov.scot/renting-your-property-out/registration/