New law: Landlords and tenants entitled to clear costs from letting agents
Tuesday 7th July 2015
Landlords and tenants dealing with letting agents should ensure they have a copy of the agent's published fees, as required under the new Consumer Rights Act.
Under the new law, letting agents are now required to display prominently a full list of their 'relevant' fees, including VAT and/or other taxes, at every premises where they deal face-to-face with clients or prospective clients, and on their websites.
Relevant fees include those charged to either landlords or tenants in relation to letting agency work (which is defined in the new law), property management work and 'otherwise in connection with' an assured tenancy, or a proposed assured tenancy, of a dwelling.
Clients must be able to understand the description of the service or the costs on the list – therefore, descriptions such as 'administration fees' will no longer be lawful. Costs must be inclusive of VAT and/or any other tax payable. Where a fee cannot be given in advance the agent must explain clearly how it is calculated.
There are also new rules governing agents who hold clients' money and agents' redress schemes.
Landlords and tenants should ensure they have a copy of the letting agents' published fees under the new law when entering into a residential lease.
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