Agents,/Letting Agents

If you're thinking about renting out your home, you may consider hiring a letting agent to help you.  A letting agent can:

  • find a tenant for you and manage your property (including repairs)
  • deal with issues the tenant may have
  • help make sure you're meeting all legal requirements

A letting agent will not:

Things to Consider When Choosing a Letting Agent

If you want to use a letting agent to help you rent your property, there are a number of things you may want to check to see if their service is suitable for your needs.  After you've chosen a letting agent, you may find it helpful to have a legal expert look over your contract.

You may want to ask them general questions about the business. These include:

  • if they're on the Scottish Letting Agent Register (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) - All agents in Scotland need to be on the register & follow the Letting Agent Code of Practice (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)
  • if they have professional indemnity insurance and client money protection, which provides additional protection should things go wrong
  • if they have complaints and disciplinary procedures
  • what their track record's like – their rent arrears, how long their properties tend to be empty, what condition they're usually in at the end of a tenancy
  • You may also want to ask them about their general day-to-day activities, including:
  • how they deal with emergencies – how quickly maintenance staff will be at the property, how they'll inform you about it, what happens outside of working hours
  • how often they arrange inspections of the property
  • how they'll check your property meets fire and safety standards
  • what sort of minor maintenance and repairs they'll pay for and speak to you about later
  • their standard charge – how often you have to pay them, whether they expect payment when the property is empty, how often they send out statements and how the payments are broken down

Letting Agents

The Scottish Government introduced a regulatory framework for letting agents as provided for by the Housing (Scotland) Act 2014. Registration, monitoring and compliance and enforcement is carried out by the Scottish Government.

Letting agency work generally means you either:

  • carry out work for a private landlord who wants to let their property out to a tenant
  • manage a property (including collecting rent, inspecting the property and arranging for repairs and maintenance) which either is currently or is planned to be rented out to a tenant

If you do letting agency work in Scotland you are required by law to comply with a Letting Agent Code of Practice (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) and to join a Register of Letting Agents (Opens in a new window or downloads a file).  It makes sure every letting agent is suitable to do the job and has met Minimum Training Requirements. (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)

There is a legal definition of letting agency work, you must consider this definition in deciding whether you need to register and comply with the Code. For a more detailed explanation, and to view the legal definition, see Section 61 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)Further Details About Letting Agent Registration (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)