February 2014

Housing (Scotland) Bill

Michael Clancy, Director of Law Reform at the Law Society, gave oral evidence to the Scottish Parliament on the Housing (Scotland) Bill. In his evidence, he urged MSPs to rethink proposals to regulate letting agents. As currently drafted, the proposals will create an unnecessary dual regulatory regime for those solicitors who undertake letting agency work.

The Housing (Scotland) Bill proposes to require Scottish ministers to establish and maintain a register of letting agents and grants them the power to issue a code of practice. Proposals also provide Scottish ministers with the power to remove a registered letting agent from the register if they are satisfied that the person is no longer a fit and proper person to carry out letting agency work. The Law Society considers it unnecessary to include solicitors in this new regime, as they are already subject to stringent rules of admission and practice and detailed rules covering professional ethics and conduct.

Full details on the Bill and the Society's comments can be found here.