Commercial letting agents have until 31 January 2018 to comply with the responsibilities laid out in the new statutory Code of Practice, which is set to improve standards and empower tenants as well as landlords.
The code sets out standards that must be met in how letting agents deliver services. It includes specific requirements on how clients’ money should be handled. It also makes it compulsory to have Client Money Protection and Professional Indemnity Insurance.
Landlords and tenants can use the code to challenge poor practice and, if necessary, enforce it through the new First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber).
Letting agents will be required to join the SNP Government’s mandatory register of letting agents, and key individuals in agencies must meet a minimum level of training.
Kenneth Gibson commented:
“During the last Parliament, the SNP Government introduced a number of important reforms in the private renting sector through the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 as well as the Housing (Scotland) Act 2014, which set a framework for the regulation of letting agents in Scotland.
"With a higher proportion of people letting privately than ever before, tenants' interests must be protected as too many have had negative experiences.
"The SNP Government is keen to ensure that letting agents comply with the legislation, whilst making it easier to tackle any situations where this may not be the case. The Letting Agent Code of Practice and the obligation to join a Register of Letting Agents will help us do that."
A guide for those undertaking letting agency work to assist them in meeting the requirements for registration can be found at: