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New regulation of letting agents is on its way |Scotland

The Letting Agent Registration (Scotland) Regulations 2016 will be come into force in January 2018. What will need to be done differently?

The Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 makes it a requirement for registration and regulation of letting agents and establishes appropriate training requirements.

Following on from the 2014 Act, The Letting Agent Code of Practice (Scotland) Regulations were released in early 2016.  The code of practice, which all letting agents must comply with, establishes a mandatory register of letting agents with an associated 'fit and proper' person test and training requirements to be met before agents can be accepted onto the register.  It will come into force on 31 January 2018.

In addition to the code of practice, The Letting Agent Registration (Scotland) Regulations 2016 will also come into force on the 31 January 2018. These should be read alongside the code of practice.   The regulations provide further detail on the information that will be required to be submitted with an application for registration as well as the necessary training requirements before a letting agent can become registered.

Information to be included in an application for registration includes: contact telephone number and email address;

  • details of any letting agent enforcement order which has been made against an applicant;
  • whether the applicant has professional indemnity insurance or equivalent protection; and
  • details of any licences held.

Each specified person included in the application must have a relevant qualification.  If the qualification was obtained more than three years prior to the date of the application then the person must have undertaken certain training.  The required training includes 20 hours related to letting agency works and includes 15 hours of formal training.

The regulations apply to the applicant and each person directly concerned with managing and supervising the day-to-day running of the work.

Relevant qualifications include level 6 or above on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework and training on various areas including

  • the legal obligations relating to letting agency work;
  • handling landlords' and tenants' money; and
  • managing repairs to and maintenance of a property.

Additionally, the Scottish Ministers may require an applicant to provide a criminal conviction certificate if they have reasonable grounds to suspect that the information provided in the application is or has become inaccurate.

It is proposed currently that the register will begin accepting applications in early 2018.  

Contributor: Louise McAlister

This publication is intended for general guidance and represents our understanding of the relevant law and practice as at February 2017. Specific advice should be sought for specific cases. For more information see our terms & conditions.

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