Letting agents welcome new regulations which take effect in less than 12 months

27
Feb

Scotland’s largest professional organisation for letting agents is urging agents and others involved in property letting to ensure they are fully compliant with new regulations coming in to force in less than a year.

The warning from the Council of Letting Agents (CLA) came as the details of the regulations were finalised last week.

The new rules, including a statutory code of conduct and training requirement will be mandatory for letting agents and relevant staff in the sector by January 2018.

In addition to signing up to a Letting Agency Code of Practice, letting agents will be required to be listed on a public register, whilst key individuals will also be required to meet a new, tough, minimum level of training.

Landlord Accreditation Scotland (LAS) and the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Scotland have developed a new professional development programme called LETWELL designed specifically with the new requirements in mind and the CLA is urging everyone in the sector to ensure they comply with the new rules and undertake the proper training.

The CLA says that whilst some involved in the sector have signed up to the necessary training already, many seem to be unaware of the impending deadlines or the impact the changes will have on their business.

Agents, lawyers and others who will need to comply with the new regulations are being urged to join the CLA to receive a discount on the LETWELL training programme along with a host of other benefits to help their business.

Chair of the CLA Policy Group, Amanda Wiewiorka, said: “The CLA strongly welcomes the new regulation for letting agents which will help professionalise our sector and drive rogue players out of our market, ensuring a higher level of service for customers.”

“We have seen a steady increase in awareness amongst letting agents but there is still more to be done to ensure everyone who needs to be is compliant by the deadline.  As well as agents, lawyers who undertake letting work will also be required to be on the register and, in some cases, complete additional training and qualification.”

“One way of ensuring compliance is to join organisations such as the CLA as soon as possible.  As well as receiving a discount on the LETWELL training programme, membership opens the door to a huge number of benefits for lawyers who also do letting.  Membership includes access to documents and a helpline, regular updates and information as well as regular networking opportunities.”

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “I very much welcome the support of the Council of Letting Agents and other industry bodies in raising awareness of these important changes to the letting agent industry. A Registration Guide is now available from the Scottish Government to help letting agents understand what letting agent regulation will mean for their business.  The Guide can be found at: www.mygov.scot/letting-agent-registration.”

“With under a year to go until letting agent regulation begins, letting agents must start to take steps to make sure that they comply with the Code of Practice and have the necessary qualification and training. I would encourage those who must meet the training requirements to sign up with one of the qualification providers (LETWELL or Propertymark Qualifications) as soon as possible.”

——ENDS——

Notes to Editors

For more information, contact Graeme Downie on 07973 300 184 or at graeme.downie@orbit-comms.co.uk

About the Council of Letting Agents – http://www.counciloflettingagents.com/

The Council of Letting Agents (CLA) represents Scotland’s leading letting agents. It is the largest professional association of its kind and is at the head of the lettings industry in Scotland.

The CLA represents the collective opinion of our member letting agents and we encourage all our members to feed in by email or phone. Landlords and agents are in the same industry, so we believe working together as much as possible as equal parts of SAL, the leading trade body in the country, makes us all stronger.

Chair Amanda Wieworka leads the group and represents agents on the SAL board, feeding into the overall policy position of the organisation.