The lettings industry in Scotland has evolved in to a very diverse often complex marketplace, comprising solicitors, estate agents and accommodation agencies and of course landlords.
This industry is undergoing seismic changes and Westminster is watching closely as it appears to be following Holyrood’s lead in modernising the entire lettings process and looking after tenant’s rights. It will be interesting to see if they follow Scotland’s bold step and impose regulation on the industry south if the border.
Letting agents provide an essential role in providing a wide range of services and support to both landlords and tenants, that is why the Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 introduced a regulatory system for letting agents.
It includes compulsory letting agent registration, a statutory code of practice with a means of redress, and effective enforcement. The objective is to provide landlords and tenants confidence in the standard of service they should expect from an agent in a clear and transparent fashion.
The first letting agent code of practice is due to come into force on 31 January 2018. It sets out the standards of practice that letting agents must meet in how they deliver their services.
One of the most significant changes is that key individuals in a letting agency will be required to have met a minimum level of training. This will not be a simple ‘one day’ course, rather it will be a comprehensive technical award. ARLA’s Level 6 Technical Award in Residential Letting & Property Management is one of only two qualifications currently accepted by the Scottish Government and is a challenging award to achieve.
We at Northwood fully support the need for properly qualified individuals dealing with what is a hugely important issue for both landlords & tenants. Each of our independently owned and operated offices has embraced this new regulatory framework and are keen to provide professional training for all our key staff.
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