Posted by Gareth Williams, Partner
On 1 September 2016 Withy King LLP merged with Royds LLP. The trading name for the merged firm is Royds Withy King. All content produced prior to this date will remain in the name of the firms pre-merger.
Fees transparency to ensure a fair deal for landlords and tenants
Letting agents are now required to publish full details of the fees they charge under plans announced on 13 May. The move ensures a fair deal for landlords and tenants, closing off the opportunity for a small minority of rogue agents to impose unreasonable, hidden charges. The common sense approach avoids excessive state regulation which would push up rents for tenants.
Currently, the Advertising Standards Agency only requires letting agents to list compulsory charges to the tenant upfront in the process. Those letting agents who are found to have imposed hidden charges face little more than being “named and shamed” on the Advertising Standards Authority’s website.
The new rules will require all letting agents to publish a full tariff of their fees – both on their websites and prominently in their offices. Anyone who does not comply with these new rules will face a fine – a much stricter penalty than the one which currently exists.
These plans add to the work already being done to offer stronger protections for landlords and tenants in the private rented sector, whilst avoiding excessive regulation which would force up rents and reduce choice.
Housing Minister, Kris Hopkins, said: “The vast majority of letting agents provide a good service to tenants and landlords. But we are determined to tackle the minority of rogue agents who offer a poor service. Ensuring full transparency and banning hidden fees is the best approach, giving consumers the information they want and supporting good letting agents.
“Short-term gimmicks like trying to ban any fee to tenants, means higher rents by the back door. Excessive state regulation and waging war on the private rented sector would also destroy investment in new housing, push up prices and make it far harder for people to find a flat or house to rent.”
At Royds, we can advise individuals and landlords on all regulations which may affect them, including compulsory charges and changes in legislation. For more information, please visit or contact Gareth Williams or Robert Lloyd-Davies.