THE COUNCIL of Letting Agents exists to hold members to the highest possible standards.
Approximately 12 per cent of houses in Scotland are in the private rented sector, amounting to roughly 305,000 properties.
Many of these are leased to tenants through one of around 750 letting agents, making the issue of how these agents are regulated of great relevance to Scottish people.
The Council of Letting Agents (CLA) is the largest body of subscribing letting agents in Scotland. We are committed to adhering to the highest standards of professionalism and customer service for our members, as well as their tenants and landlords. We believe great damage has been done to our industry by rogue landlords and agents. That is why the CLA welcomes the recent Housing Act passed by the Scottish Parliament which will place additional regulations on letting agents to stamp out such behaviour, allowing our members to thrive whilst providing additional protection for tenants and landlords.
For example, according to a recent survey, around 80 per cent of CLA members support compulsory training and a mandatory register for letting agents, both of which are features of the new legislation. We believe these measures will raise standards, helping responsible letting agents be more successful whilst driving those with poor records out of the industry.
Other measures that will become law as part of the Act include: thorough electrical checks at least every five years; mandatory installation of carbon monoxide detectors; and allowing local councils to enter private rented property if they don’t believe properties are being maintained to required standards.
Over the coming months, we will be working with our members, local authorities and the Scottish Government to ensure the mandatory training for letting agents is proportionate and practical to guarantee letting agents are complying with the law, and tenants and landlords are treated with a high degree of professionalism.
If you are a tenant or landlord and have problems with a letting agent, you can check if they are a member of the CLA on our website www.scottishlandlords.com. If they are, please get in touch so we can help.
• Kathleen Gell is convenor of the Council of Letting Agents