Chapter 3 of Part 3 of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 comes into force on 27 May 2015. From that date a letting agent must display or publish details of the agent’s relevant fees (being the fees, charges or penalties payable to the agent by a landlord or tenant) by displaying a list of fees:
- At each of the agent’s premises at which the agent deals face to face with persons using or proposing to use services to which the fees relate; and
- At a place in each of those premises at which the list is likely to be seen by such persons; and
- On the agent’s website if it has a website.
The agent’s relevant fees are fees payable to the agent by a landlord or tenant for work:
- In respect of letting agency work carried on by the agent;
- In respect of property management work carried on by the agent; or
- Otherwise in connection with:
(i) An assured tenancy of a dwelling-house; or
(ii) A dwelling-house that is, has been or is proposed to be let under an assured tenancy.
Description of fees
The list of fees displayed or published must include:
- A description of each fee that is sufficient to enable a person who is liable to pay it to understand the service or cost that is covered by the fee or the purpose for which it is imposed;
- In the case of a fee which tenants are liable to pay, an indication of whether the fee relates to each dwelling-house or each tenant under a tenancy of the dwelling-house; and
- The amount of each fee inclusive of any applicable tax or, where the amount of a fee cannot reasonably be determined in advance, a description of how that fee is calculated.
If the agent holds money on behalf of persons to whom the agent provides services as part of that work, the requirement includes a duty to display or publish, with the list of fees, a statement of whether the agent is a member of a client money protection scheme.
If the agent is required to be a member of a redress scheme for dealing with complaints in connection with that work, the requirement includes a duty to display or publish, with the list of fees, a statement indicating that the agent is a member of a redress scheme and giving details of the name of that scheme.
Breach of duty
A financial penalty not exceeding £5,000.00 may be imposed on any agent in the event of any breach of the duty to display or publish fees.
Consistent with our policy when giving comment and advice on a non-specific basis, we cannot assume legal responsibility for the accuracy of any particular statement. In the case of specific problems we recommend that professional advice be sought.