The Scottish Government has announced a clarification in the law in order to confirm that all upfront charges levied by letting agents on tenants, other than rent and deposits, are illegal.

The current provisions, contained in the Rent (Scotland Act) 1984, were thought to be unclear as they did not specifically prohibit the charging of premiums to tenants.

The announcement comes hot on the heels of the publication of the responses to the Government’s consultation on the issue, which ran from 4 April to 28 May 2012.

This will all come as welcome news to tenants, many of whom have started the process of claiming unlawful charges back from letting agents. Shelter Scotland, through their website, have stated that almost £100,000 of claims have been made using their online toolkit.

The clarification in the law will take place following the commencement of the relevant provisions of the Private Rented Housing (Scotland) Act 2011.