ARLA is continuing to advise letting agents not to use the term ‘administration’ in their fee schedules.
Confirmation from managing director David Cox has come after a legal case in which Foxtons was effectively told by a judge that it could use terms such as “administration fee”, provided it explained what the charge covered.
In the case, reported yesterday on EYE, it is understood that Camden Council will be appealing the decision, believing that Foxtons’ explanation is too general and against the intention of the law.
Yesterday, Cox told EYE: “In discussions with Camden Council since the introduction of the fee transparency rules in May 2015, ARLA has argued against their interpretation that each item of a fee needs to be listed separately (such as separate fees for referencing, contract negotiation and Right to Rent checks).
“Therefore, we are pleased Judge Lane has agreed with our view that bundling the fees together under a clear heading, with an easy to understand explanation, is acceptable.
“However, this is only one judge’s ruling which may be overturned if the council chooses to appeal, and in any event it does not set legal precedent.
“Therefore, ARLA remains of the belief that agents should not use the word ‘administration’ in their fee schedules.
“The Government guidance and our own Primary Authority Assured Advice said not to use the word, which is why when we created the ARLA Fees Template, we suggested using terms like ‘Tenancy Set-Up Fee’ together with a full and clear explanation of what services are provided for the fee.”