Letting agents - display of fees
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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? (opens in a new window), which was produced by the Department for Communities and Local Government.
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.
- Key legislation
- Housing Associations Act 1985 (opens in a new window)
- Housing Act 1988 (opens in a new window)
- Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 (opens in a new window)
- Housing Act 1996 (opens in a new window)
- Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 (opens in a new window)
- Redress Schemes for Lettings Agency Work and Property Management Work (Requirement to Belong to a Scheme etc) (England) Order 2014 (opens in a new window)
- Consumer Rights Act 2015 (opens in a new window)
Last reviewed / updated: June 2017
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.
©2017 itsa Ltd on behalf of the Trading Standards Institute.