The following types of tenants have the right to have a fair rent registered:
- regulated tenants - generally speaking, this is a tenancy that started before 2 January 1989
- tenants who were secure tenants of a housing association whose tenancy was converted to a Scottish secure tenancy in September 2002. To have been a secure tenant with a housing association the tenancy must have started before 1989.
An application to have a fair rent registered can be made at any time during the tenancy, provided that a Fair Rent had not already been registered. If a rent has been registered before, normally three years must pass before a new application can be made.
How to apply
In order to have a rent registered an RR1 form must be filled in. The form is available below.
This form requires information including how much the applicant wants the rent to be, what the accommodation is like and information about the tenancy agreement. This information will be considered by a Rental Valuation Officer who will then set a Fair Rent.
The assessment process for Fair Rent
The landlord and tenant will each be asked if they want to meet the Rental Valuation Officer to discuss the rent registration.
The Rental Valuation Officer will not arrange a discussion if landlord and tenant apply jointly and they agree with the rent proposed in the application. If either tenant or landlord asks for a discussion, or if the Rental Valuation Officer thinks there should be one, both landlord and tenant will be invited to attend.
Before the consultation the Rental Valuation Officer will usually want to inspect the premises, unless this has been done within the last six years and no significant change to the condition of the house has been notified.
The Rental Valuation Officer must give at least 14 days notice of any meeting in order to give the tenant an opportunity to study the information supplied by the landlord, and to make further enquiries about it.
Setting Fair Rent rates
In deciding what would be a fair rent, the Rental Valuation Officer must take account of the circumstances of the case (but not the personal circumstances of the landlord or tenant) and must apply their knowledge and experience of comparable rents in the area.
Consideration will be given to:
- the age, character, locality of the property
- the quantity, quality and condition of any furniture provided
- any service charges that are included
- any disrepair
- other factors such as lighting and heating, local amenities and traffic
Furnished properties and services
The applicant should tell the Rental Valuation Officer of all services provided and say how much of the rent being asked for is fairly attributable to the service.
If the applicant is the landlord they should give details of what they have spent in providing these services. The Rental Valuation Officer will discuss the services information provided with the tenant.
Fair Rent Register
The Rental Valuation Officer will usually look at previously registered Fair Rents for similar properties. This information is contained in the rent register held in local rent offices.
It can also be obtained online at www.gov.scot/fairrentregister which details all registrations of fair rents carried out by Rent Service Scotland since November 1994 on individual properties.
Challenging a decision
There is normally a right to object formally to the Rental Valuation Officer's rent. But there is no right of objection if:
- there is a joint application and the Rental Valuation Officer accepts and registers the rent applied for
- the landlord has obtained a certificate of fair rent and the rent registered is the same as the certificate
An objection should be made in writing to the Rental Valuation Officer at Rent Service Scotland (address below) in the first instance. Objections are normally referred to the Housing and Property Chamber - First Tier Tribunal.
Timescales for Fair Rents
A registered rent remains in force until a new rent is registered or until the tenant leaves and a new non-regulated tenancy agreement is entered into.
Making a new application
Once a Fair Rent has been registered, it cannot generally be reconsidered for a period of three years, unless either:
- the application is made jointly by landlord and tenant
- there has been a relevant change of circumstances (for example, major repairs, change in the terms of the tenancy)
- the application is made by the landlord two years and nine months after the date of the existing registration. But if a new rent is registered before the end of the three year period, the new rent cannot take effect until the end of that period
Rent Service Scotland
2nd floor Endeavour House
Telephone: 0300 244 7000
Hours of business:
- Monday to Thursday: 09:00 to 16.30 hours
- Friday: 09:00 to 16:00 hours