Rental prices continued to rise in most areas of Scotland during the last 12 months. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis the average rent was £579 per calendar month in August, 0.7% up on last month and 0.5% higher than a year ago.
Rents grew in four of the five Scottish regions surveyed - East of Scotland, Edinburgh and Lothians, Highlands and Islands and the South of Scotland. The Glasgow and Clyde region was the only region to post a year-on-year fall, dropping 4.1% in the 12 months to August.
Edinburgh and Lothians remains the area with the highest rents. The average price in the capital city and surrounding area was £666 this month, a total that is 4.1% higher than in August 2016.
At the opposite end of the scale it was the East of Scotland region which was home to the lowest average rent. The typical price paid per calendar month was £540 in August, although this is 2.5% more than a year ago.
Across all of Scotland landlords and letting agents should be preparing themselves for the introduction of the Letting Agent Code of Practice in early 2018.
From 31 January 2018, agents in Scotland will be able to declare themselves compliant with this new legislation and join a Register of Letting Agents.
These changes are expected to cause significant disturbance for smaller agencies, with many expected to close or leave the market. Your Move Scotland is urging all landlords and property investors to enquire with their current agent to ensure they will be compliant with the new rules.
Letting agencies must have submitted an application to join the code of practice by 30 September 2018. From that point it will be a criminal offence to conduct letting agency work if you aren’t on the register. Those breaking the rules could face a fine of up to £50,000 and up to 6 months imprisonment.
These rules are intended to increase professionalism in the sector and make sure that agents are properly able to handle money received from both tenants and landlords.