Letting agent registration information for Homes Scotland Lettings Ltd: FoI release

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

Information requested

1. All of the information held by the Scottish Ministers relating to the application by Homes Scotland Lettings Ltd for letting agent registration.
2. In particular, please send me the following:
2.1 All of the information held by the Scottish Ministers which was used to make its decision to enter Homes Scotland Lettings Ltd to the register of letting agents.
2.2 Copies of any decisions made and/or decision letters issued by the Scottish Ministers relating to the application.
2.3 Copies of all correspondence relating to the application.
2.4 Any subsequent correspondence received by the Scottish Ministers with respect to Homes Scotland Letting Ltd being a "fit and proper person to carry out letting agency work" in terms of the applicable test for letting agent registration set out in Section 39 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 (titles 'revocation of registration')."

After being advised that Homes Scotland Lettings Ltd have submitted two applications, one being their initial application to join the Scottish Letting Agent Register("the Register") and one to renew their
existing registration on the Register, you were asked to clarify if you sought information on the initial application, the most recent application or on both. Your clarification was as follows:
"Could you please send me the requested information for both applications."


I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested. These documents have been provided in two separate files with each containing documents related to the separate applications received from
Homes Scotland Lettings Ltd.

If you have any difficulties with the format of these documents then please do not hesitate to email LettingAgentRegulation@gov.scot quoting the Case Reference Number 202300373779 and we will
contact you to discuss alternate arrangements.

With respect to the released documents an exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. The names and email addresses of both staff of the agent, Homes Scotland Lettings Ltd, and of the Scottish Government's Letting Agent Regulation Team have been withheld as these are personal information of third parties. In addition, the banking information of the agent and the name and email address of the bank's representative have also been withheld under section 38(1)(b) as these are also personal information.

This exemption is not subject to the 'public interest test', so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. With respect to the documents fully withheld, exemptions apply under section 38(1)(b) and under section 25 (1) of FOISA.

A number of documents contain personal information of third parties. This includes information on qualifications, insurance arrangements, banking information, and information on criminal offences as per the 'fit and proper person' test.

The exemption under section 38(1)(b) is not subject to the 'public interest test', so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying
the exemption.

Whilst some of these documents do contain non-personal information, this information is available from the following websites:

The public Register entry for Homes Scotland Lettings Ltd:

The entry on the Companies House website for Homes Scotland Lettings Ltd:

In addition, the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service may hold information on any potential criminal offences or breaches of legislation. Their website can be found here: https://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/

Lastly, the agent may be able to provide copies of their insurance arrangements, for both professional indemnity insurance and client money protection insurance. The Letting Agent Code of Practice ("the
Code") does require that an agent provide "further details (such as the name of your provider, your policy number and a summary of the policy)" to a landlord or tenant (including a former landlord or tenant) on request (see paragraphs 126 and 132 - https://www.gov.scot/publications/letting-agent-codepractice/pages/8/).

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.
Whilst we cannot provide this documentation, the Scottish Ministers do ensure that agents hold relevant professional indemnity insurance (as per paragraphs 130 and 131 of the Code) and meet the qualification requirement, and training requirements where appropriate, as per Regulations 5 and 7 of The Letting Agent Registration (Scotland) Regulations 2016 -

In addition, where agents hold or handle client money the Scottish Ministers ensure that agents hold a client money protection insurance policy (as per paragraph 126 of the Code) and have a bank account,
or accounts, that meet the requirements of paragraph 122 of the Code.

Lastly, the Scottish Ministers also ensure that all individuals required to be identified on an application are included, whilst also ensuring that those who are subject to the "fit and proper person" test pass this
Only once satisfied that an applicant meets all these requirements are they permitted to join the Register or have their existing registration renewed.

I should also note that the application process was updated prior to Homes Scotland Lettings Ltd submitting their application to renew their registration. This update permitted an applicant to upload
documentation with their application and, as such, almost all required documents were provided by Homes Scotland Lettings Ltd at the point of their application. 

Further information on these checks can be found on our Regulation of letting agents - monitoring compliance and enforcement framework: updated 2021 which can be found on the following website:

With respect to Part 2.4 of your original request, the Scottish Government does not have the information you have asked for because no such correspondence has been received and this is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested.

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.

FoI 202300373779 - Information released (a)
FoI 202300373779 - Information released (b)


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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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