Legislation changes to force UK lettings agents to advertise their fees

Changes to the Consumer Rights Act means that UK lettings agents will be required to display their charges and fee structures on their company websites and in physical branch offices, in order to provide their customers with clearer information.

The information included by an agent must contain a description of each separate service they offer, stating exactly how much the corresponding service fee is and whether or not the charge applies to the property as a whole or each individual tenant.

In a move that has been welcomed by industry experts, any agent working in the UK will need to publicise their fees and the required information via the appropriate channels.

The Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA) has already supported the change and the better protection it will give to the industry’s consumers.

However, David Cox, the Managing Director of ARLA, also said: “In the interests of consumer protection, we would have liked to see legislation go further than it did and continue our call to make it mandatory for letting agents to be members of a client money protection scheme.

“We urge the next Government to review this after the general election as the schemes provide guaranteed protection to both landlords and tenants should a letting agent abscond or misuse any money they are holding for either party; such as a deposit or rent.”

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Nigel is the Managing Partner and Head of Litigation and Dispute Resolution in the London office of Mackrell Turner Garrett.