In the guide

This guidance is for England & Wales

One of the provisions in the Consumer Rights Act 2015 relates to requirements for accommodation letting agents and property management businesses to display their fees and charges to clients.

Relevant businesses

The requirements relate to businesses that receive instructions from clients regarding accommodation to be let under assured tenancy agreements to:

  • introduce prospective tenants to landlords with available accommodation for rent
  • arrange assured tenancy contracts between landlords and tenants
  • carry out property management services for landlords
Back to top

Relevant fees

The fees that have to be indicated are the fees, charges and penalties payable to the letting agent by their clients under contracts for:

  • introducing tenants to landlords with available accommodation for rent
  • arranging assured tenancy agreements
  • the management of rental properties

However, the following fees do not have to be indicated:

  • rental charges
  • tenancy deposits
  • any fees, charges, penalties that the letting agent receives from a landlord under a tenancy on behalf of another person
  • any other fees, charges or penalties specified in regulations

An assured tenancy is one as defined in the Housing Act 1988 (excluding long leases as defined in the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993) except where the landlord is a:

  • private registered provider of social housing
  • registered social landlord
  • fully mutual housing association
Back to top

Display requirements

Letting agents must display a list of relevant fees:

  • in each of their premises where they deal with clients or potential clients face-to-face
  • on their website, where applicable

This list must be displayed in a conspicuous place.

Back to top

Fees content

The displayed fees list must include:

  • an adequate description of each fee and its purpose
  • whether the fee is payable for the accommodation or by each tenant
  • the total amount of the fee inclusive of all taxes
  • the method of calculating the fee, if the fee cannot be determined in advance

In England only, if letting agents engaging in letting agency or property management work relating to private accommodation hold money on behalf of clients they must also display a statement of whether the business is member of a client money protection scheme.

Such businesses must be a member of a redress scheme for dealing with complaints in connection with that work. They must also display a statement that they are a member of a redress scheme and the name of it. For more information see Lettings agents and property managers: which government approved redress scheme do you belong to?, which was produced by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Back to top

Penalties

A penalty of up to £5,000 can be imposed by trading standards services for breaches of these requirements, subject to any statutory guidance issued and an appeals procedure.

Back to top

Key legislation

Housing Associations Act 1985

Housing Act 1988

Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993

Housing Act 1996

Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013

Redress Schemes for Lettings Agency Work and Property Management Work (Requirement to Belong to a Scheme etc) (England) Order 2014

Consumer Rights Act 2015

 

Last reviewed / updated: June 2017

Please note

This information is intended for guidance; only the courts can give an authoritative interpretation of the law.

The guide's 'Key legislation' links may only show the original version of the legislation, although some amending legislation is linked to separately where it is directly related to the content of a guide. Information on amendments to UK legislation can be found on each link's 'More Resources' tab; amendments to EU legislation are usually incorporated into the text.

Feedback

Consumer enquiries from England, Scotland and Wales are handled by the Citizens Advice Consumer Service who can be contacted by telephone on 03454 04 05 06. Consumer enquiries in Northern Ireland are handled by ConsumerLine who can be contacted by telephone on 0300 1236262. Call charges may vary.

Business enquiries are dealt with by your local council. Use the Chartered Trading Standards Institute's postcode finder to locate your local trading standards team.