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Landlords in Scotland must now carry out electrical safety checks and carbon monoxide checks in their properties after a new law was passed.

The legislation came into force on December 1st, requiring that landlords in Scotland ensure that carbon monoxide detectors are fitted in their properties.

The detector can be mains-powered or may be fitted with a long-life battery. One must be installed in every room in which there is a carbon-based fuel appliance, such as heaters. This excludes appliances which are only used for cooking. The detectors also need to be put in any bedroom or living room if a flue from a carbon-based fuel appliance runs through it.

In addition to this, landlords in Scotland will also have to make sure that safety checks are carried out on all electrical appliances and installations in property which is privately rented.

The legislation applies to new tenancies which started on or after December 1st last year and comes into effect for existing tenancies from December 1st, 2016.

To ensure that landlords comply with the new requirements and carry out checks on all affected properties, they may find it more convenient to utilise an inventory app. This has the advantage of speeding up inspections since you can complete reports in a short space of time. It can also send reminders as to when checks need to be made and visits need to be booked.

This is a highly-efficient way in which to keep reports and to document every visit or property check, especially when tenants move in or out. It can also serve as a reminder to carry out the electrical safety checks that are now necessary in Scotland.

This will ensure that landlords do not fall foul of the law with the associated risk of a hefty fine.

Shelter Scotland says the new legislation will save lives from the ‘silent killer’, so called because carbon monoxide is colourless, odourless and tasteless. It can be fatal and leaks are primarily caused by faulty or poorly-maintained fuel-burning appliances where there is insufficient ventilation.

About five per cent of people renting property in Scotland have suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning according to research by Shelter Scotland and Scottish Gas.

The legislation regarding carbon monoxide alarms has been in place in England from October 1st. Landlords also been required to install smoke detectors on each floor of a rental property. These must also be thoroughly tested when a new tenancy begins.