Publication - FOI/EIR release

Number of letting agents: FOI release

Published: 3 Mar 2020

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Published:
3 Mar 2020
Number of letting agents: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000017147
Date received: 12 Feb 2020
Date responded: 2 Mar 2020
Information requested

You asked for

  1. How many letting agents are conducting business in Scotland that need to be registered?
  2. How many have been registered?
  3. How many have you confirmed actually have a separate client account that you have seen details for?
  4. How many have you confirmed it is an actual client account ?
  5. How many have you actually asked for a list of what employees do what within the company including the solicitor letting agents?
Response

An exemption(s) under section12 (1) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. While our aim is to provide the information requested whenever possible, in this instance the costs of locating, retrieving and providing the information requested in the final three questions of your request would exceed the upper cost limit of £600. The reason for this is that in order to locate and retrieve this information we would need to conduct a search of each application, reviewing the correspondence for each case, of which there are almost 1000 cases. Under Section 12 of FOISA public authorities are not required to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying would exceed the upper cost limit, which is currently set at £600 by Regulations made under section 12.

However, whilst the cost of providing the answers to your final three questions would exceed the upper cost limit, we can provide the information in respect of your first two questions.

1) How many letting agents are conducting business in Scotland that need to be registered?

We do not hold information on the exact number of letting agents conducting business in Scotland, however all those who are conducting letting agency work (as it is defined in Section 61 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2014) in Scotland, regardless of where they are based, are required to have submitted an application to join the Register before 01 October 2018 or must be a registered agent.

You can determine if an agent is registered using the search facility on the public Register which can be found online at the following page: https://register.lettingagentregistration.gov.scot/search

If you believe that a letting agent is unregistered then you can notify the Letting Agent Regulation Team at the following email address: LettingAgentRegulation@gov.scot

2) How many (letting agents) have been registered?

As of 28 February 2020 a total of 889 letting agents have been approved and placed onto the Register as approved agents.

In addition, 10 lettings agents have had their applications refused and have been placed onto the Register as refused agents.

A list of agents whose applications have been refused and revoked can be found online at the following page: https://register.lettingagentregistration.gov.scot/refused-and-revoked

About FOI
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG