Letting agent fees are unlawful in Scotland

Write to your letting agent
Step 1

Write to your letting agent and ask them to return your fees

Sometimes you'll be successful when you write and ask for them to return your fee

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Write again if they refuse
Step 2

Write to your letting agent a second time

If they don't return the fee after the first letter you should write again. This time the letter quotes the law in detail and lets the letting agent know that you'll go to court if you don't get your fees back

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Lodge a small claims court action
Step 3

Lodging a small claims action isn't as scary as it sounds

Use our downloadable 'statement of claim' and a small claims form from the Scottish courts website

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Attend court if needed
Step 4

It may not actually come to attending court

This guide will help you through the process.

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Legislation explicitly prohibits charging a tenant for drawing up a lease or requiring a ‘premium’ for the granting or renewal of an assured or short assured tenancy. See section 82 of the Rent (Scotland) Act 1984 – applied to assured tenancies by section 27 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988. Section 90 of the 1984 Act defines a ‘premium’ as ‘any fine, sum or pecuniary consideration, other than the rent, and includes any service or administration fee or charge’.

Margaret Burgess, the Minister for Housing and Welfare stated in the Scottish Parliament that: “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)”.

We have also sought an advocate’s opinion on the legislation which prohibits letting agents from charging premiums. The opinion clearly states that premiums required both before and after the Scottish Government’s clarification of the law are unlawful and can be reclaimed.

If you’ve been charged any of these by your letting agency in the last five years, use our FREE toolkit and claim back what you’re owed.

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