05 Jan 2017

Letting Agent Registration: Training Requirements

On the 22nd of December 2016, the Scottish Government finally published the regulations setting out, among other things, the training requirements to sit within the framework of letting agent registration. The full text of the requirements can be found in The Letting Agent Registration (Scotland) Regulations 2016 that come into force on 31st January 2018 the same date as the mandatory Code of Practice which should be read alongside these regulations.

The regulations can be found using this link http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2016/432/made .

The regulations themselves set out in some detail the information that will require to be submitted with applications for registration as well as the training requirements themselves. The information to be provided in any application includes supplying the Scottish Government with details of any applicant’s client money protection insurance (whether through membership of a trade or professional body or by separate policy), confirmation that client’s money is held in a separate and dedicated client account (mandatory requirements under the letting agent Code of Practice) as well as details of relevant qualifications held by individuals.

In terms of the training requirements these apply to ‘Specified Persons” who are defined in regulation 6 as:

  • The Applicant themselves; and
  • Each person directly concerned with managing and supervising the day-to-day running of the applicant’s letting agency work.

Where the applicant is a ‘non-natural person’ such as a company of a partnership, Specified Persons will be:

  • The individual who holds the most senior position within the management structure of the applicant unless that individual has no involvement in the day-to-day running of the applicant’s letting agency work; and
  • Each individual directly concerned with the managing and supervising the day to day running of the applicant’s letting agency work.

In addition, where an applicant has multiple offices there will need to be at least one person in any office that carries out letting agency work that meets these requirements.

It should be noted that ‘Specified Persons’ are not the same as ‘Identified Persons’ who require to be identified as part of the application process where the applicant is for example a limited company and it is perfectly possible that an Identified Person will not need to meet the training requirements as well as someone who does not need to be identified in the application itself requiring to meet the training requirements, for example a person who has a shareholding of 25% or more of an applicant limited company, but is not involved in the business itself.

The training requirements themselves are relatively straightforward in that it requires to be equivalent to Level 6 or above of the Scottish Credit Qualification Framework such as the Association of Residential Letting Agent’s (ARLA) Technical award. The qualification itself must include training on

  • Legal obligations relating to letting agency work;
  • The rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants
  • Handling landlords’ and tenants’ money
  • Arranging, managing and ending a tenancy
  • Managing repairs to and maintenance of a property
  • Customer communications and complaints handling
  • Equality issues.

Where the qualification is more than 3 years old at the date of application, then further training of at least 20 hours must be taken which is related to letting agency work of which at least 15 hours must be formal verifiable training. Again, that additional training must be taken within 3 years prior to the date of the application for registration.

Further guidance is expected shortly from the Scottish Government which will hopefully assist applicant’s in understanding how the training requirements will apply to them and their businesses.

If you wish to find out more about the changes or to discuss how you can get ready for them, please contact Rory Cowan.