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Letting Agents to publicise fees in their offices and website and MUST include VAT

From the 27th May 2015 there will be a statutory duty on letting agents in England and Wales to publicise details of the fees they charge and they must include VAT.

From the 27th May 2015 there will be a statutory duty on letting agents in England and Wales to publicise details of the fees they charge and they must include VAT.

Agents need to display prominently in each of their office premises and on their website (if one exists):  

A list of fees.

  • The list must give enough information so that a client can work out exactly what they are paying for, why they are paying this and how much it will cost.
  • The list must state whether the fees are per property or per individual (i.e. where there is a joint tenancy is it one fee for all, or for each individual to pay).
  • The fees must be inclusive of VAT 
  • If the agent holds the client’s money, a statement as to whether the agent is a member of a client money protection scheme. 

A statement to say that they are a member of a redress scheme and providing the name of that scheme.

 Who needs to do it?  

Letting agents in the Private Rental Sector. Local authorities are not included in this. The duty and any penalty falls upon the agent and not salaried employees of the agent.  

What ‘fees’ mean under the act?

The fees, charges or penalties which a landlord or tenant pays to the agent in relation to letting agency work, property management work or otherwise in connection with an assured tenancy or a dwelling-house let under an assured tenancy.

The list of fees does not need to include:

  • The rent payable to a landlord under a tenancy
  • Any fees, charges or penalties which the letting agent received from a landlord under a tenancy or on behalf of another person
  • A tenancy deposit 

Penalties  

Agents can be fined up to £5000 by Trading Standards.

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