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To ask the Scottish Government what the enforcement body is for breaches of the Rent (Scotland) Act 1984 with regard to the charging of premiums.

Answered by Margaret Burgess (21/05/2013):

There is no single enforcement body for such breaches. Any person who requires payment of such a premium, and any person who receives the premium, is guilty of an offence under section 82 of the Rent (Scotland) Act 1984 (as amended by section 32 of the Private Rented Housing (Scotland) Act 2011).

Should a person believe that they have been charged a premium prohibited by the 1984 Act, or have been asked to pay one, they can report this to their local authority, and this can be taken into account for the purposes of the Landlord Registration ‘fit and proper person’ test. They can also seek to reclaim any premium fees charged through the courts.

Tenants or prospective tenants asked to pay such a premium may opt to approach a housing advice provider, or seek independent legal advice. In addition, if a letting agent in Scotland proposes the charging of such a premium, and is a member of a professional body, then a tenant or prospective tenant may also report this to that professional body.

The Scottish Government consulted on regulation of the Letting Agent industry as part of gathering views on a consultative strategy for the private rented sector in 2012. Further regulation of the industry received broad support. The Scottish Government plans to launch the final strategy for the private rented sector at the end of May 2013. The strategy will outline our plans for future action in this area.

Current Status: Answered by Margaret Burgess on 21/05/2013
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