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.