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The Scottish Housing Minister recently confirmed that letting agents should not be charging a range of upfront fees to private tenants.

Currently, under the Rent (Scotland Act) 1984, landlords and their agents can legally charge rent and a deposit only when granting a tenancy. However, current legislation has not been explicit enough about additional charges such as reference checks, credit checks and inventory fees.

The law will now be clarified so that all tenant charges, other than rent and a refundable deposit, will be deemed illegal. Read more Scottish Government and BBC.

The Edinburgh Private Tenants Group (EPTAG), who have campaigned on the issue of illegal letting fees, welcomed the decision to clarify the law on illegal letting fees, but emphasise that reinforcement of the law is another issue, and urge private tenants to keep the pressure up on unscrupulous landlords. More here.

Shelter Scotland who have also been campaigning on this issue have a ‘reclaim your fees’ website, which has already assisted private tenants in making £100,000 worth of claims against illegal letting fees. If you think you have been made to pay illegal letting fees, use their website to claim back money from unscrupulous landlords.

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