Biagi urges clampdown on landlords

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Edinburgh Central SNP MSP Marco Biagi has urged ministers to close loopholes which could be used by rogue landlords to get around strict new rules designed to protect tenants.

The rules require deposits in the private rental sector to be held by an independent firm, instead of landlord or letting agent. But some tenants are now being made to pay a “checkout” charge instead.

Mr Biagi said: “It is vital to make sure these changes work as intended. Replacing deposits with a fee at the end of the tenancy under the banner of ‘checkout charge’ shows how some letting agencies have viewed the deposit all along. This is another extra charge on top of rents and is shameless profiteering.”

Jon Black of Edinburgh Private Tenants Action Group said: “We hope the Scottish Government makes clear to letting agents that ‘checkout fees’, non-refundable ‘holding deposits’ and unjust ‘late rent’ charges are illegal.”