Rules and Regulations for Landlords: How Does Each UK Country Differ?

Being a successful landlord is about more than simply letting out a property and watching the money roll in, and as a tenant, you should know what is expected of your landlord. 

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This can sometimes differ depending on which part of the UK you are in, so keep reading and discover how rules and regulations can vary depending on where you are in the country! 

Housing is a devolved matter 

Devolved means that the matter of housing is delegated to lower levels of regional government. This means that it is often up to an area’s local government to decide upon issues regarding housing. Therefore in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, there are different housing rules and regulations that need to be followed by landlords. 

Registering as a landlord

The process of registering as a landlord differs between areas of the UK. 

In Scotland, landlords are expected to register with the local council, while in Wales they must register with Rent Smart Wales and they must also have a licence if they are managing the property on their own. If they aren’t, then a landlord in Wales must use a licensed agent. 

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In Northern Ireland, landlords are also expected to register with the local council. 

Conversely, in England there is no lawful obligation that a landlord must register, however there are certain boroughs in England that require landlords to have a private rented property licence. 


It is very important that as a tenant you understand what your landlord is in charge of when it comes to repairs. 

In 2007, Scotland introduced the Repairing Standard, which basically sets out some simple repair requirements that landlords are expected to adhere to. 

Similarly, landlords in England and Wales must stick to rules set out in the Housing Act of 2004. This means they are responsible for all the maintenance on the outside of the property, such as roofing, guttering and windows. 

They are also expected to fix anything to do with utilities. This includes heating and hot water, pipe work, electricity and water, gas boilers, ventilation and drains.

The rights and responsibilities of a tenant

In general, tenant’s rights and responsibilities are pretty much the same across the whole of Great Britain.

 Yet, in England landlords are required to check a tenant’s right to rent. This means renters in England will need to supply ID documents to prove they have the right to stay in the UK. 

Throughout the UK, a tenants deposit needs to be protected by a government backed deposit scheme. In England and Wales there are three to choose from: Tenancy Deposit Scheme, MyDeposits and Deposit Protection Service. 

In Scotland there are different schemes but they have the same purpose. The Scottish schemes are: MyDeposits Scotland, SafeDeposits and Letting Protection Service Scotland. In Northern Ireland there are also several deposit schemes. 


So, as you can see, housing is a tricky topic to pin down. Each place has their own rules and regulations that landlords are expected to follow, and it’s important that as a tenant you are up to date on what is expected. It is also advised that you understand your own responsibilities in order to enjoy a hassle-free rental. 

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