New transparency rules will be enforced by local authorities later this month to which Letting Agents must comply.
It requires agents to publicise a breakdown. In detail, of any fees they charge to both landlords and tenants. They must also state whether they are a member of a Client Money Protection (CMP scheme and must specify which mandatory redress scheme they are a member of.
Although most Letting Agents will already do this, from May 27th the information will be required by law under the Consumer Rights Act.
The new law is due to the number of unethical “cowboy” agents operating in the rental sector ,who are unclear about their fees, do no protect their clients’ money and do not make it clear who clients’ can turn to if they have received poor levels of service.
As we have mentioned in previous articles there are several cases of rogue agents conning their customers out of £1000’s on a regular basis, giving a bad name to the trustworthy agents we work with on a regular basis.
With an independent body to turn to, the government believe it will prevent disputes between agents and tenants/landlords from escalating as local housing authorities will be enforce first hand.
If you do not join one of the three redress schemes you could be fined up to £5,000!
The act simply, means details of all fees, charges or penalties which are payable to the agent in association with an assured tenancy must be compiled into a comprehensive list of charges throughout the entire rental agreement, to eliminate ‘surcharges’ and ‘hidden fees’
Alongside this, letting agents must make it clear which scheme they are a member of in their offices and on their website.
Any letting agent who is not a member of the CMP scheme must make this clear in enable to raise industry standards and to provide more protection to consumers.
We believe the transparency law is ideal to deal with some of the problems within the rental industry, it could help our trustworthy, genuinely helpful agents that we work with regularly to regain the trust that many unethical agencies, who have exploited our industry, have tarnished.