Ian Potter, Operations Manager of the ARLA, said it was necessary to bring about sweeping changes to protect consumers’ money – and their interests – in these hard times.
"The current economic climate has highlighted a further area of weakness in protection of the consumer in Scotland: if a letting agent or private landlord gets into financial difficulty – or even goes out of business – the funds paid to them by clients (either tenants or landlords or both) could be in jeopardy," he said.
"As it stands in Scotland currently, as a tenant or landlord you have no guarantee that your deposit is safeguarded – and that could cost you, quite literally.
"In other parts of the UK tenants’ deposits are protected by statute. In Scotland, landlords and tenants are only protected if they use agents regulated by ARLA, NAEA or other bodies offering client money protection where the body would compensate for funds misappropriated by an agent member.
"We would urge the Scottish Government to implement deposit protection for tenants and to regulate agents with recognised minimum standards, to include a requirement to have a client money protection scheme in place.
"ARLA is also calling for more regulation of Scottish landlords, particularly in relation to deposits, as nothing currently exists in this area."
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