New Statutory Code Of Practice Launched For Letting Agents
Letting agents in Scotland are now required to join a register as part of a new statutory code of practice as part of plans to drive up standards and empower tenants. Certain members of agencies will also have to reach a minimum level of training – if they fall below this, they can be removed from the register, which will stop them from operating as a letting agent at all.
Both landlords and tenants will be able to use this code to challenge poor practice, with standards also included to cover how letting agents deliver their services. Specific requirements on how clients’ money is handled has also been included.
Kevin Stewart, housing minister, said: “The private rented sector provides a place to call home for hundreds of thousands of people – they deserve the necessary standards and protections to find and keep that home. The reforms we have introduced in private renting are the biggest changes for a generation and will deliver significant improvements, benefiting tenants and landlords.”
At the start of December, it was also announced that the new Private Residential Tenancy will come with no end date. It can only be terminated if a tenant gives written notice to their landlord, or if the landlord uses one of the 18 reasons for evictions. Tenants also have the right to challenge wrongful terminations.
Rent can only be increased once a year and landlords will be required to give tenants three months’ written notice if an increase is on the way. Tenants will also be able to challenge this if they think it’s unfair.
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