The Rent (Scotland) Act 1984 (as amended) prohibits landlords from charging tenants for the cost of preparing a lease, 'key money', administration charges, or for the cost of preparing an inventory etc., All of these charges are known as 'premiums'.
The law on illegal premiums is set out below - if you have been required to make payment of a premium you should write to your landlord, quoting the relevant law below, and ask for a refund.
If your landlord refuses to provide a refund you can raise a small claims action or if the landlord holds a HMO licence contact your local council (licensing section).
Rent (Scotland) Act 1984:
s 82 - Prohibition of premiums and loans on grant of protected tenancies.
(1) Any person who, as a condition of the grant, renewal or continuance of a protected tenancy, requires, in addition to the rent, the payment of any premium or the making of any loan (whether secured or unsecured) shall be guilty of an offence under this section.
(2) Any person who, in connection with the grant, renewal or continuance of a protected tenancy, receives any premium in addition to the rent shall be guilty of an offence under this section.
(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.(4) The court by which a person is convicted of an offence under this section relating to requiring or receiving any premium may order the amount of the premium to be repaid to the person by whom it was paid.
s 88 - Recovery of premiums and loans unlawfully required or received
(1) Where under any agreement (whether made before or after 12th August 1971) any premium is paid after 12th August 1971 and the whole or any part of that premium could not lawfully be required or received under the preceding provisions of this Part of this Act, the amount of the premium or, as the case may be, so much of it as could not lawfully be required or received, shall be recoverable by the person by whom it was paid.
2) Nothing in section 82 or 83 above shall invalidate any agreement for the making of a loan or any security issued in pursuance of such an agreement but, notwithstanding anything in the agreement for the loan, any sum lent in circumstances involving a contravention of either of those sections shall be repayable to the lender on demand.
s.115 - premium includes any fine or other like sum and any pecuniary consideration in addition to rent.
also to Assured & Short Assured Tenancies
s 27 Prohibition of premiums etc. on assured tenancies.
Sections 82, 83 and 86 to 90 of the Rent (Scotland) Act 1984 (which make it an offence to require premiums and advance payment of rent in respect of protected tenancies and make related provision) shall apply in relation to assured tenancies as they apply in relation to protected tenancies (including protected tenancies which are regulated tenancies), but with the following modifications--(a) section 83(5) shall not apply; and(b) section 88(1) shall apply as if for the references to 12th August 1971 there were substituted references to the date of commencement of this section.