New bid to lock out rogue letting firms
By Matty Sutton
© Evening Times
Originally published: 05.09.2011
Landlords have launched a campaign to stop rogue letting agents preying on people in Glasgow.
There are no laws in place to regulate letting agents, meaning that anyone is free to trade and there is no protection for tenants or landlords.
Landlords who use an agent are liable to pay back their tenants' deposit if the letting agent goes bust or disappears.
A new Tenancy Deposit Scheme is being rolled out across Scotland which will offer some protection to landlords and tenants.
Under this scheme deposits will be kept by a separate body.
The Scottish Association of Landlords is campaigning for laws that would require letting agents to register with an independent body before they begin trading.
This would mean they would have to undergo tests to ensure they were reliable enough to trade.
John Blackwood, director of SAL, said: "We are lobbying Holyrood for legislation to be introduced to require letting agents to be registered.
"This is needed in order to protect landlords and tenants from rogue operators and support agents who operate legitimately."
Preet Sandhu, director of Happy Lets, a Glasgow letting agent, said she was "disgusted" by how Access Properties had treated customers.
She said: "We have a situation which allows anyone the freedom to hold large sums of other people's money without providing guarantees … it has to stop."
Bob Doris, MSP for Glasgow said: "There is a powerful argument for the registration of letting, and I have made representations to the Government on this matter."