The countdown has begun to the Letting Agent Code of Practice coming into force next year.
Solicitors who undertake letting agency work in Scotland will be affected by the new code once introduced and it is important to ensure that your business will be fully compliant by January 2018.
From the 31 January 2018, if you undertake letting agency work in Scotland you must deliver your services in a way that complies with the Letting Agent Code of Practice. The Code sets out the standards of practice that you must meet, and includes specific requirements around how clients’ money should be handled. It also makes it compulsory for businesses to have Client Money Protection and Professional Indemnity Insurance.
If you haven’t yet looked at the Code, now is a good time. The Code is set out in The Letting Agent Code of Practice (Scotland) Regulations 2016.
Alongside the Code, letting agents will be required to join a mandatory register of letting agents and key individuals in a letting agency will be required to have met a minimum level of training.
The Letting Agent Registration (Scotland) Regulations 2016 sets out the training requirements that those applying to join the register of letting agents must meet and additional information required for registration. Law Society members will be required to use their membership number when registering.
The Scottish Government is developing further information and guidance, including on preparing for registration and the training required. This is expected to be available from the end of February 2017 once the Registration Regulations have finished their Parliamentary scrutiny. We will circulate this to our members as soon as it is available.