Coronavirus Update

Letting Solutions is open for business, albeit strictly in line with all the required rules around the Coronavirus epidemic. Members of the Team are working remotely covering all aspects of the business. Our hours of business are unchanged, namely:

Monday to Friday from 9.15 am to 5 pm except on Wednesdays, when we do training and open from 11am to 5pm.

For more information please see our full page details here

Please don’t hesitate to contact us, even if you are not a current client. You can ring us on 01506 496006 where our Team are waiting to help. Or you can email us at:

Everyone please take care.

The Letting Solutions’ Team

Search Profile

Find Properties:

Use my current location
AdvancedBasic search

Why landlords need to work with a compliant letting agent

Fri 05 Oct 2018

The title of this blog might sound obvious – that landlords need to work with an agent who plays by the rules – but it's something that has become even more important given the deadline has now passed for the submission of applications to the Scottish Letting Agent Register.

Those currently carrying out letting agency work in Scotland who wished to continue to do so, needed to submit an application to join the register by October 1 2018.

What is the register?

The Register of Letting Agents, run by Scottish Ministers, ensures every letting agent is fit and proper to do the job and has met minimum training requirements.

For those who aren't on the register, it is now a criminal offence to carry out letting agency work, unless an application was submitted by the deadline and has yet to be determined.

Failure to sign up to the register brings with it potentially hefty punishment, with those convicted of carrying out illegal letting agency work facing a fine of up to £50,000, up to six months in prison, or both.

What did the registration process involve?

Letting agents had to prove that the correct steps had been put in place to meet the requirements of the new Code of Practice, itself only applicable from February 1 2018. All staff also needed to be clear on what the Code of Practice involves.

In addition, anyone in the business who required certain qualifications needed to attain them, while agents were also required to have at least one separate and dedicated bank account to hold client money. What's more, agents needed to be part of a client money protection scheme and hold professional indemnity insurance.

Furthermore, those applying had to pass a 'fit and proper person' test, with Scottish Ministers deciding whether those carrying out letting agency work were suitable to do so. This involved Ministers conducting tests on a number of people in a company and the company itself. Typically, the tests were carried out on the most senior person in the organisation's management structure, anyone who owns 25% or more of the business and any other person or business who is (or will be) directly involved in the control or governance of the business's letting agency work.

Agents were required to give information about themselves and their business, including contact details, type of organisation, info about those in charge of the company, any membership of an industry or professional body and whether there had been any convictions of certain offences.

The importance of training and qualifications

Crucial in the process, too, was agents proving that everyone in their business who needed the correct training had received it.

Those who needed to be trained as part of the registration process were required to have a relevant qualification covering vital parts of letting agency work at (or at the equivalent of) Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) level 6 or above.

Equally, those who already had a qualification – but which was over three years old – needed to have some additional training on letting agency work to ensure they were up to speed.

The people requiring the qualification plus the necessary training were the person holding the most senior position in the organisation's management structure (unless this person wasn't involved in day-to-day running of letting agency work), as well as every person directly concerned with managing and supervising the day-to-day running of the organisation's agency work.

For those already qualified, but who received their qualification more than three years ago, an extra 20 hours of fresh training on letting agency work was required, including at least 15 hours of formal training. This could include courses, conferences, seminars, webinars and lectures, with documented evidence (such as a certificate) to prove that the training had been undertaken or delivered.

The other hours could be made up by informal training, such as shadowing and coaching, reading and writing articles on letting agency work, informal teaching for others, interactive discussions with experts and informal learning within the company.

Insurance and protecting client money

As part of the new Code of Practice, which letting agents on the register need to adhere to, there is a requirement for professional indemnity insurance. This ensures a lettings business is protected if a claim is made against it by a dissatisfied customer.

Additionally, letting agents must adequately protect client money and hold client money in one, or more, separate bank accounts. The client account must be separate from the agency's business or private accounts, only contain clients' money and nothing else, and be held with a bank or building society approved and recognised by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority).

Client money must also be protected, which can be achieved through a specialist insurance broker or by becoming a member of an industry or professional body. Bodies who offer client money protection include ARLA Propertymark, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Law Society of Scotland and Money Shield. One form of protection is Client Money Protection Insurance (CMPI) which is a specialised insurance that protects the money of landlords and tenants against theft or misappropriation by the owners of a letting agent whilst it is in their custody or control.

Why is the register important?

Along with the new Code of Practice, the Register of Letting Agents is designed to drive up standards in the Scottish private rented sector and root out rogue operators. It's there to ensure that agents are carrying out best practice at all times, are fit and proper to run an agency, have the required training and meet minimum standards.

As a landlord, you need to ensure you are working with a reputable, fully compliant letting agency – one who plays by the rules, is signed up to the register and adheres to the Code of Practice. At Letting Solutions, West Lothian's first dedicated lettings agency, we can help you get the most from your rental properties.

To find out more,  please get in touch with us on 01506 425693. We also offer free and instant online valuations to give you an idea of how much your rental home is currently worth.

News Archive

March 2022

Rental yields – everything Scottish landlords need to know

Landlord Tips – how to stage your property to attract tenants

Landlords - how to attract tenants this spring

February 2022

A New Deal for Tenants – what are the Scottish Government’s plans all about?

January 2022

New fire safety regulations introduced – what do landlords need to know?

How to maintain your rental property this winter – the top tips

December 2021

Landlords – what are the top 7 most vital factors to consider before letting a property out?

Landlords – why you should list your property before the Christmas period

November 2021

What should landlords do about empty properties over Christmas?

Optimism on the rise – are the good times back for landlords?

October 2021

Electrical Standards - what Scottish landlords will need to know and do from next year

Scottish government announces grant for tenants in rent arrears - what do landlords need to know?

September 2021

Rent controls in Scotland – what do we know?

August 2021

Landlords - why summer is a great time to let a property

July 2021

Revealed - why landlords need to be aware of lighting changes

May 2021

Why it’s still a great time to be a landlord in Scotland

Housing to 2040 – what does it mean for landlords?

April 2021

Energy efficiency in private rented housing – when will the changes occur?

March 2021

Landlords – eight common mistakes to avoid in 2021

Landlords – four ways to improve your property this spring

February 2021

Landlords – why good broadband can help make your home more valuable

January 2021

Covid update – Scotland goes into a full lockdown, what do you need to know?

November 2020

Update – rents in West Lothian have increased above the rate of inflation since 2010

Covid-19 FAQs for landlords – what can and can’t you currently do?

Landlords – here are some top tips to reduce rent arrears

October 2020

The latest Covid-19 restrictions in Scotland and what they mean for landlords

September 2020

How to be a good landlord in 2020

News roundup – landlords call for direct government help plus short-term let regulation

August 2020

Revealed – what is the current Covid-19 advice for landlords in Scotland?

July 2020

How can landlords make a rented property feel like a home?

A potential saving for landlords? Scottish government announces cut to LBTT

June 2020

Landlord news update - Bill proposing cap on rent rises is abandoned

Landlords – dealing with tenants during the lockdown

May 2020

News roundup – Scotland home to UK’s highest yields and BTR growth north of the border

Preparing your rental property for a viewing – the top tips

April 2020

Buy-to-let mortgage holidays – what do landlords need to know?

March 2020

Landlords – here’s how to create the perfect rental property for tenants

Three ways to improve your rental property

January 2020

Deposit research and huge landlord fine highlight importance of compliance

How to renovate a rental property on a budget

December 2019

Property price update – why West Lothian is the perfect location for landlords

Landlords – here’s why you should have faith in the Scottish market

November 2019

Boost for landlords as tenant sentiment remains high

The heating conundrum – can you box off your thermostat?

October 2019

Rental trends – what are tenants looking for in a property?

How to be a responsible landlord

August 2019

Where are Scotland’s overseas investors from?

Tenancy deposit protection – how can landlords remain compliant?

HMRC clampdown on underpaid tax – what do landlords need to know?

June 2019

What do renters want from their property? Top 10 features revealed

What do landlords need to do before tenants move in?

May 2019

Landlord insurance and home insurance - what are the key differences?

The Latest on the property market and Brexit

A guide to getting a mortgage with bad credit

March 2019

How to keep condensation to a minimum in your rental properties

February 2019

Why Scotland remains an ideal buy-to-let hotspot for investors

January 2019

Plans to raise rate of additional dwelling tax – what does this mean for landlords?

Tenant immigration checks – could they be introduced in Scotland?

December 2018

2019 – what do landlords need to look out for?

Landlords - is your letting agency part of the Register of Letting Agents?

November 2018

Strong yields and growing property prices boost Scotland’s landlords

Buy-to-let mortgages – what do landlords need to know?

How to make your rental property suitable for families

October 2018

Why landlords need to work with a compliant letting agent

Scottish landlords and tenants show poor awareness of key deposit rules

September 2018

Why you need to pay attention to inventories

First-time landlord? Here’s what you need to know

August 2018

Why it’s important to respond quickly to repairs requests

Why is tenant referencing so important?

July 2018

Landlords - how can you boost the security of your rental properties?

Post navigation How to attract long-term tenants to your rental property

What do landlords need to do to be successful in 2018?

Post navigation New rules for Scottish letting agents: what do landlords need to know?

Post navigation What turns tenants off when viewing a rental property?

Here is why effective marketing is vital when letting your home

Post navigation Dates for a landlords diary in 2018

Post navigation Landlords: here is some reasons why tenants do not get their deposits back

The rise of lifetime renting – why is this good news for landlords?

June 2018

The importance of good transport links to tenants