At City Rental Services we’ve been keeping a close eye on the recent ASA ruling regarding the advertisement of rented properties by letting agencies around fee amounts.
This useful article from industry website Landlord Zone provides a handy overview, as well as highlighting the fact that the ASA ruling demands compliance by letting agents by 01st November.
The crux of the issue lies with the fact that many letting agencies have complicated fee structures. At CRS, ours are simple and clear, and we believe that if a potential tenant decides to arrange a rented property viewing, this is a financial decision, and letting agents need to be really transparent on their fee structures to all potential tenants from the outset.
The guidance is also simple from a legal perspective:
‘Consumers are entitled to material information on fees when deciding to rent. Any administration fee should be provided or clearly indicated in the quoted price, and should provide enough information to allow the consumer to establish easily how further charges could be calculated.’
From 01st November 2013 all letting agents are obliged to make it clear to potential tenants what their charges will be, and to inform of all concurrent costs incurred to move into a property.
At CRS, we have one charge only – 35% of a months’ rent plus VAT for obtaining a property, referencing and preparing the tenancy agreement. For charges or fees for any agent, we’d recommend looking closely at a letting agencies’ Terms & Conditions before signing up.
Letting agencies will need to have their fee structures listed, and we’ve noted that leading property portal Rightmove is doing its best to comply: other portals will follow on with their own methods of showing Agent’s fees.
If you’d like to find out more about our central Bristol lettings agency, please feel free to get in touch here.