Regulation of Lettings Agents: Is it Coming?

5 April 2018 | William Carrington

In a further amendment to the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016, a new type of tenancy – the private residential tenancy – came into force in Scotland on 1 December 2017.  This means that tenancies will be open ended (the tenant can’t be asked to leave at the end of the term), the tenant will have more predictable rent increases and greater protection against excessive rent increases, and local rent caps for newly designated “Rent Pressure Zones”.

A local authority can apply to Scottish Ministers to have an area designated as a rent pressure zone if they can prove that rents are rising too much or the rent rises are causing problems for the tenants.

Furthermore, since the 31 January, 2018, it is now mandatory for all letting agents to join a register of letting agents and comply with a Letting Code Of Practice.  It is not enough just to join the scheme, but you must have attained a minimum standard and be affiliated with one of only four bodies, which includes the NAEA Propertymark qualifications and the RICS, “but only if certain conditions have been met.”  The usual ongoing training must also take place.

So, it begs the question whether we in England can expect this legislation to be passed down to Westminster any time soon?  I have a feeling that this is likely especially in the prime residential market that is London.

The links to the legislation may be found here:

Finally, you can download a Market Briefing report by Rettie & Co that addresses these issues in greater detail here.

About the author

William Carrington

Chairman, LonRes

William co-founded LonRes with Anthony Payne in 1999. He began his property career in the mid 1980s with a small family firm based in Knightsbridge. In 1992, he joined forces with Charles Boston, establishing Boston Carrington Pritchard based in Sloane Street, where he specialised in Landlord and Tenant work. William is a director of CLEA Ltd, which owns The London Magazine, and remains a consultant to Boston Radford Surveyors.

William Carrington