Letting agencies

Letting agencies are private companies that can help you find private rented accommodation that suits you. Most agencies also manage the day-to-day running of the tenancy.

What do letting agencies do?

Letting agencies act as 'go betweens' between tenants and landlords. They can:

  • help you find suitable property to rent

  • collect your rent on behalf of the landlord

  • arrange for any repairs to be done.

Why use a letting agency?

There are several advantages to using a letting agency:

  • the rent you'll be paying will usually be fair for the area

  • all legal requirements, for example fire safety measures, are more likely to be met

  • if something goes wrong, a letting agent is more likely to sort it out for you promptly.

Letting agent registration

From 2 October 2018 all letting agents have to be signed up to the Scottish Letting Agent Register. If a letting agent is not on the register then they cannot operate as a letting agent. 

If your letting agent is not on the register then they are committing a criminal offence and could face a £50000 fine, up to 6 months in prison or both.

Find out more about letting agent registration

The letting agent code of practice

The code of practice is there to help tenants and landlords understand what they should expect if they rent a property through a letting agent.

Under the code a letting agent must:

  • carry out their business in a way that complies with all appropriate legislation

  • be honest, open, transparent and fair in their dealings with tenants and former tenants

  • make sure all staff and any subcontractors comply with the code and any other legal requirements

  • make sure that all private information is handled sensitively and in line with legal requirements

  • respond to all enquiries and complaints within reasonable timescales and in line with any written agreements

Under the code a letting agent cannot:

  • unlawfully discriminate against a tenant or prospective tenant

  • provide information that is deliberately or negligently misleading or false

  • communicate in any way that is abusive, intimidating or threatening

The letting agent code of practice is available in full on the Gov.scot website, and includes rules on:

  • standards of practice

  • lettings

  • repairs

  • communications and complaints

  • how money is handled

If you think your letting agent is not complying with the code, you should complain in writing to them. The complaint must be dealt with inline with the letting agent’s complaints procedure.

Complaining about a letting agency.

How do I find a letting agency?

You can find letting agencies listed on the Yellow Pages.

Make sure any agency you choose is registered with the Scottish Government and a member of the Association of Residential Letting Agents.

You can also check if they are accredited by:

If you need housing advice, contact us for free.

Last updated: 2 August 2021

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

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