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The Law Society of Scotland is urging members of the Scottish Parliament to rethink proposals to regulate letting agents, claiming the current recommendations will create “an unnecessary dual regulatory regime”. 

The Housing (Scotland) Bill creates a register of letting agents and grants ministers the power to issue a code of practice. The 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.

   

But the Law Society considers it unnecessary to apply this regulation to solicitors who act as lettings agents - as many do north of the border - because the solicitors in question already operates to their own rules covering professional ethics and conduct.

 

"Although we support the government's attempt to regulate the letting agent industry, we don't think it makes sense to include solicitors” claims Michael Clancy, a Law Society director. 

 

"Solicitors are subject to a comprehensive system of regulation, which far exceeds the measures proposed for letting agents. There are also a range of consumer protections already available for those who use solicitors” says Clancy. 

 

He believes the existing Scottish Legal Complaints Commission and the current legal framework provide routes allowing compensation to aggrieved parties. 

Comments

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    The idea that every type of business needs regulating is very much a European model rather UK model. In Europe unregulated is regarded as close to being illegal.

    I have not heard any argument to convince me that Letting Agents needs regulating and the few statistics that are available suggest very high levels of Letting Agent satisfaction from both landlords and tenants.

    What is typical for calls of regulation is that it is special interest groups and letting agents themself that are arguing for regulation rather than landlords and tenants themself.

    Once regulation is passed enforcing it will be passed to a few industry insiders who will be given Carte Blanche to make the rules to remove competition from the market and increase prices to both landlords and tenants.

    • 30 January 2014 12:05 PM
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    Solicitors acting as Letting Agents in Scotland already have to register with their Local Authority. Have I missed something here or is the author not registered???

    • 30 January 2014 09:08 AM
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    "....the solicitors in question already operates to their own rules covering professional ethics and conduct"

    Precisely - you'd have hoped some of the allegedly best legal brains in Scotland would realise that is exactly why the new regulations are needed. If all was well in the SLS garden why wouldn't the proposals already exempt them?

    • 30 January 2014 08:34 AM
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