On 27 May 2015, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (section 83 onwards) came into force (in England only) to bring in rules regarding letting agents fees.
These are intended to create full transparency – so landlords and tenants know exactly how much they will be required to pay before they enter into any form of contract or agreement.
Under the new regulations, agents are required to display details of all their fees, charges or penalties (however expressed) payable to the agent by landlords or tenants for any letting agency or property management work they may do.
The only exceptions are:
These regulations do not apply to landlords, but they do apply to property managers (if you make a charge).
Note that it’s not what you call yourself (ie agent or property manager) that matters but what you actually do. So if you find tenants for a landlord or deal with the management of their property for a fee, you are covered by the regulations. But not if you just publish the advert or provide a way for landlord and tenant to contact each other in response to an advert etc.
These new rules are in addition to guidance published by the Advertising Standards Authority and any other relevant consumer regulations
ARLA have created templates for ARLA members to use to display your charges.
The new rules will be enforced by Local Authority Trading Standards, who can impose a fine of up to £5,000, although they have to give you written notice first and there is a procedure they have to follow.