Date lodged: 19 March 2019
To ask the Scottish Government whether it plans to consult on the use of referral fees for solicitors or estate agents during the conveyancing process.
Answered by: Ash Denham 28 March 2019
The Scottish Government has no plans to consult on the use of referral fees for solicitors or estate agents during the conveyancing process at this time.
The use of such referral fees for solicitors falls to the Law Society of Scotland as the regulator. The Society has Rules and Professional Standards for solicitors to comply with.
The regulation of Estate Agents is reserved under section C7 of Schedule 5 of the Scotland Act 1998. Estate Agents are principally regulated by the Estate Agents Act 1979 and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
We are aware that the UK Government have consulted on such referral fees in their call for evidence on Improving the Home Buying and Selling process. The consultation UK Government response are available at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/improving-the-home-buying-and-selling-process-call-for-evidence .
Any outcomes from the UK Government consultation would apply to Estate Agents across the UK including Scotland.