So nearly a month has past since the new regulations came in to force in respect of Letting Agents correctly publicising their fees. How many agents have done this and how many have not? For that matter, how many are not even aware?
It is a welcome piece of legislation and will hopefully avoid disputes between letting agents and their Landlord clients. All too often we advise on disputes between agents and Landlords when a tenancy ends as to what should and should not be paid; trying to decipher the terms of a loosely drafted contract in respect of fees. If fees are set out correctly in the first place there is then little room for dispute; or at least one would hope!
A reminder that the Consumer Rights Act provisions relating to letting agents come into effect Wednesday 27 May 2015. The Consumer Rights Act 2015 imposes a duty on letting agents in England and Wales to publicise a list of their relevant fees prominently in their office and on their website. In England (but not Wales) lettings agents are also required to publicise two statements regarding: their membership of redress, and their client money protection scheme. All fees must be quoted inclusive of taxes. So a letting agent charging 10% management fee, plus VAT needs to quote a fee of 12% including VAT. There is nothing to stop an agent quoting 10% plus VAT afterwards . A clear method of calculation for fees such as '14 days rent plus VAT' should be shown and providing a worked example is recommended.