Publication - Advice and guidance

Registration of Private Landlords: Guidance for Local Authorities

Published: 9 Oct 2009

General guidance for Local Authorities to administer and manage the Private Landlord Registration Scheme

80 page PDF

502.1 kB

80 page PDF

502.1 kB

Registration of Private Landlords: Guidance for Local Authorities

80 page PDF

502.1 kB


The following guidance has been produced following the work of the Arneil Johnston Good Practice Implementation Group. The guidance is intended to support local authorities to identify when someone is acting as an agent and needs to be included in an application for registration. This guidance can also be used to assist landlords in identifying agents.

When is someone an agent and need to be included in the application for registration?

An agent is anyone who acts for you in relation to a property you let. This may be a professional such as a letting agent or solicitor, or a friend or relative who looks after the property, arranges repairs, collects rent and so on. You must declare ANY agent you use. Your application cannot be approved until both you and any agents you use have been assessed as fit and proper.

The key principal is that the person working for you is in regular, direct contact with the tenants in your let property. This would exclude a tradesman carrying out a repair, but not the person who regularly organises the repairs on your behalf. This would exclude the solicitor that simply draws up a lease for you but not the one who acts on your behalf regularly getting tenants to sign leases and taking arrears control and eviction action against them where required.

The table below illustrates some of the activities an agent undertakes. This should help you decide if you have an agent that should be included in your application for registration.

Action taken on behalf of the landlord


Organises the advertising of the property for let

Where this is the only activity undertaken eg the newspaper or website

Arranges viewings of the property, shows prospective tenants around

Where done as a commercial arrangements only as part of the tenant selection process.

Arranges or vets potential tenants

Prepares the lease, termination, or other formal documents

If this is the only activity undertaken and is done so with your express consent on each occasion e.g. involvement of a solicitor.

Setting the rent level

If this is the only activity undertaken eg consulting with a lettings agent, estate agent, solicitor

Arranging for rent collection, accepting rent payments

This clearly does not include the banking staff involved in this process

Holds any tenants deposit

Any agency providing a local or national rent deposit guarantee scheme

Makes any deposit determinations at the end of the let

Accepting payment from the landlord for services provided related to the let property

Anyone providing a one - off service eg tradesman carrying out repairs

Acts as an intermediary between the landlord and tenant on a regular basis

Does not include mediation agencies offering a dispute resolution service

Deals with any antisocial behaviour issues on behalf of the landlord. Note: The landlord has the legal responsibility to manage and ensure the issue is resolved

Deals with any tenant related issues

Is involved in dispute resolution between their tenant and the landlord

Any mediation service working with the parties

Inspects the property

Not if the property is void and no contact with any tenants

Instructs or organises repairs

This is distinct from carrying out repairs. These would be carried out by a contractor

Has the legal right to serve notice on the tenant

Solicitors who are acting for the landlord on this one action and not coming into direct contact with the tenants

Can be pursued by the tenant for losses

Produce an end of tenancy report on the condition of the property

Not if a technical person e.g. surveyor, hired to produce a on-off report

Ensures that at end of tenancy outstanding bills/ Council Tax are addressed

Produces an inventory for use in re-letting the property