Campaign success for Reclaim Your Fees
27 August 2012
News that the Scottish Government is to clarify the law to keep letting agent fees illegal - which we've been fighting for with our Reclaim Your Fees campaign - shows that it is time to crackdown on these unlawful practices.
Following months of public consultation, today the Scottish Government announced that it will clarify the Rent [Scotland Act] 1984 making it absolutely clear to tenants, landlords, their agents and the courts that all charges above rent and a reasonable, refundable deposit are and will remain illegal.
The Reclaim Your Fees campaign started after our secret shopper survey found that 90% of Scotland’s letting agents were charging extortionate and unlawful upfront fees.
This is great news for everyone who has been ripped-off by unscrupulous letting agents.
Gordon MacRae, Head of Communications
The campaign’s aim was to help tenants understand what letting agents were legally permitted to charge for and to secure clarification of the law from the Scottish Government to ensure that the law is properly enforced.
A website - reclaimyourfees.com - was set up with template letters which tenants could send to agents outlining the legal case for a refund and a user guide to taking agents to the small claims court if they refused to pay up.
More than £100,000 worth of claims has now been commenced via the website and claims toolkit.
Gordon MacRae, Head of Communications and Policy at Shelter Scotland, says:
“This is great news for everyone who has been ripped-off by unscrupulous letting agents. It will finally put an end to this unlawful practice and ensure that tenants are no longer exploited.
“Shelter Scotland has been campaigning all year for these fees to be outlawed. Our reclaimyourfees.com web site has proved so popular that already more than £100,000 worth of claims against letting agents have been made using our free step-by-step toolkit.
“Moves like this can only strengthen Scotland’s private rented sector and help make it a fairer and more secure place to live for the 270,000 households that now call the sector home.”
For more information and to use our online toolkit to claim back unlawful letting agent fees, visit reclaimyourfees.com.
Read the Scottish Government's announcement clarifying the illegality of letting agents fees