“New era of excellence” for letting agents as first 80 graduate from new training

19
May

The first letting agents to have completed a new training course designed to improve services for tenants and landlords, have been celebrated at the largest annual gathering of the sector in Glasgow yesterday.

Around 50 of the 81 graduates so far met with Kevin Stewart MSP, Minister for Local Government and Housing, at ‘The Agency Business’ conference in Glasgow yesterday after completing a new professional development programme called LETWELL specifically developed by Landlord Accreditation Scotland (LAS) and the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Scotland with the new requirements in mind.

A total of 81 people, from across Scotland, are the first to complete the LETWELL training course helping them to be compliant with new rules which include extensive training, a statutory Letting Agency Code of Practice and being listed on a public register.  These requirements will be mandatory for letting agents and relevant staff in the sector by January 2018.

‘The Agency Business’ was organised by the Council of Letting Agents (CLA), the largest membership organisation for letting agents in Scotland. Delegates heard about a range of issues in addition to the new letting agent regulations including digital marketing, holiday lets and the future growth of the sector in Scotland.

A spokesperson for LETWELL said: “The graduation of these first 81 learners marks a new era of excellence for the letting agency sector in Scotland.  Our training programme has been developed by LAS and CIH Scotland and is specifically designed to ensure that those who take part in the programme will comply with the new requirements.  We are also grateful for the support of the Council of Letting Agents (CLA) and the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) in promoting the course and encouraging people to sign up.”

“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 register and, in some cases, complete additional training and qualification.”

Local Government and Housing Minister, Kevin Stewart, said: “Letting agent regulation is an important tool to raise standards of service and support professional excellence across the sector.  Before a letting agent business can apply to join the register in 2018, each agency must have key people in place who are appropriately qualified and trained and so I was pleased to be able to congratulate the first 50 agents who have graduated from the LETWELL training.

“I am pleased to have the support of the industry’s professional bodies as we work together to raise standards across the board. I would urge letting agents to make good use of the available time to ensure they know what will be expected of them within this new regulatory framework and to  follow the example set by these learners.”

Alice Cochrane, a letting agent from Inverness who was amongst the group, said: “The training we received was first class and delivered in a way that really made it practical for our business.  It is critical that those involved in letting property deliver a fully professional service to all of our tenant and landlord customers.  I would urge anyone in the sector who thinks they might be required to take this training, or even feel it will be beneficial, to sign up as soon as possible.”

——ENDS——

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

Notes to Editors

Photo caption: Local Government and Housing Minister, Kevin Stewart MSP, with John Blackwood (Scottish Association of Landlords), Elspeth Boyle (Landlord Accreditation Scotland), Mark Reid (CIH Scotland) and first graduates from LETWELL training programme.  Photo Credit: Claire Young

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

The Agency Business Conference took place in Glasgow on Thursday 18 May 2017.  The full agenda can be found here.

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 share their views with us.  Landlords and agents are in the same industry, so we believe working together as much as possible as equal parts of the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL), the leading trade body in the country, makes us all stronger.

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

Landlord Accreditation Scotland

Landlord Accreditation Scotland (LAS) is the national accreditation scheme for Scottish landlords & letting agents, promoting best practice in the private rented sector by offering training and education across the country.

LAS was launched in 2008 in partnership with Scottish Association of Landlords, Scottish Land & Estates and the Scottish Government as a voluntary scheme set up to promote and support letting agents & landlords in Scotland by accrediting their property management skills.

Chartered Institute of Housing

The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards. Their goal is simple – to provide housing professionals with the advice, support and knowledge they need to be brilliant. CIH is a registered charity and not-for-profit organisation. This means that the money they make is put back into the organisation and funds the activities they carry out to support the housing sector. They have a diverse membership of people who work in both the public and private sectors, in 20 countries on five continents across the world. Further information is available at: www.cih.org