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Have you provided your tenants and landlords a copy of the Letting Agent Code of Practice?

Tuesday 12 February 2019

If you're an agent operating in Scotland and the answer is no, then you'd better be prepared for a First Tier Tribunal decision against you as illustrated by a recent case highlighted below.

In a recent decision by the First Tier Tribunal a letting agent has been served with a Letting Agent Enforcement Order because they failed to meet their requirements of the Letting Agent Code of Practice.

Section 100 reads that you must make landlords and tenants aware of the Code and give them a copy on request, electronically if you prefer.

In this case the agents had a copy of the code available in their office waiting room easily and freely accessible for tenants and landlords to peruse. When the agents were requested for a copy of the code of practice by the tenant it was posted to them timeously.

The tribunal did not consider that having a copy available in the office to be compliant with an agent’s duty in terms of the code and with the tenant’s declaration they only found out about the Code of Practice through an internet search added further weight to the lack of compliance. Therefore the Tribunal had no hesitation in issuing a Letting Agent Enforcement Order.

In terms of the order the agent has been given 28 days to:

  • Advise all their landlords and tenants by letter addressed and sent to each landlord and tenant to whom they have dealings of the existence of the Code of Practice and if requested send them a copy and
  • To then provide documentary evidence to the Tribunal they have complied with the Order.

This is not the first decision against an agent operating in Scotland for not providing a tenant with a copy of the Code of Practice. ARLA Propertymark recommends that if you have failed to make all your landlords and tenants aware of the Code or you have no evidence in place that you have done so, regardless of when the tenancy commenced, that you put procedures in place to do so immediately.