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
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.
How do I find a letting agency?
You can find letting agencies listed on the Yellow Pages.
You can also check if they are accredited by:
Last updated: 2 August 2021