There was shock and anger at yesterday’s NALS conference when delegates heard that in future, letting agents will have to declare all tenant and landlord fees to both parties.
Ruth Hayes, senior policy adviser at the Department for Communities and Local Government, told delegates that this will be mandatory under the Consumer Rights Bill.
She said the requirement was in place to stop agents double charging.
The Consumer Rights Bill, which has been put forward by business secretary Vince Cable, is currently in the House of Lords.
According to the most recent version of the Bill available online, under Sections 81 to 86, it does not say that agents must specifically communicate to the landlord what the tenant will be paying, and vice versa.
However, it does say that agents must clearly list their fees in their premises and on their websites – suggesting tenants and landlords would be able to work out what both they and each other were paying.
The Bill also says that each fee must be listed fully inclusive of any applicable tax. Where the actual amount of a fee cannot be worked out in advance, there must be a description of how it will be calculated.
See next story for Nick Salmon’s full report of the conference.