Letting agent regulation introduced

1 October 2018 marked the deadline for letting agents in Scotland to apply to the new national register. All letting agents should now have met the training requirement and completed their registration application. It will take the government some time to process all the applications but it must make a decision on each application within 12 months of it being submitted. Agents who applied earlier in the year and whose applications have been approved are already listed on the public register which can be found at https://lettingagentregistration.gov.scot/.

It is now a criminal offence to carry out letting agency work in Scotland after without having applied to the register. Late applications will also be subject to a £270 late application fee.

Details of how the new registration requirements will be monitored and enforced can be read at https://www.gov.scot/Publications/2018/03/6722/1.  Monitoring action will include:

  • A fit and proper person test including a criminal record check on applicants
  • Monitoring of the nature of any letting agent code of practice enforcement orders issued and ensuring they are complied with
  • Mystery shopping exercises
  • Reviewing terms of business, policy and procedure documents
  • Compliance visits (where there are serious concerns about a business these may be unannounced)

Enforcement action can include:

  • An application to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland for a determination on whether a letting agent has complied with the requirements of the code of practice
  • Refusing or revoking registration
  • Where there is evidence that there has been a serious breach of the requirements of the legislation, criminal proceedings can be considered.

SAL Council of Letting Agents (CLA) members are reminded that there are a number of template documents on the SAL website intended to help you comply with the code. A summary of the code of practice resources with hyperlinks to all the templates can be found here.