The Association of Residential Letting Agents (Arla) has expressed concerns about the high number of estate agents switching their attention to property lettings due to the current market.

According to a survey from the regulatory body for letting agents, some 76 per cent of its members have reported news of estate agents in their local areas moving into letting in the last six months, which has resulted in an influx of them breaking landlord law.

Ian Potter, operations manager of Arla, said that agents taking on landlord responsibilities must have the relevant qualifications and accreditation.

He commented: "In order to make the transition from an estate agent to a lettings agent, they need to have studied more than a hundred different pieces of legislation, and pass minimum competency tests."

By doing this, consumers can be assured that the agent they visit has the ability to give landlord advice to the required standard, Mr Potter added.

Last month, Arla called for a formal system to be introduced that will protect tenants' deposits and landlords' funds held by Scottish letting agents.
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