A new ruling by The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) means letting agents must now be much clearer about their fees for rental properties.
Certain estate agencies have been accused of hiding compulsory administration fees making it difficult for the consumer to really know what they were going to be charged for their rental properties.
The ASA have said that all prices quoted must now be transparent to ensure a much fairer system. Now, when an agency is letting a property the monthly rent must be advertised alongside any extra admin fee, including information about a property’s deposit, any rent to be paid in advance and also any contract fees involved. These changes are being made to protect all renters but especially vulnerable people such as first time renters and students looking for a home.
With these new regulations in place consumers will now have all the information they need to compare prices and shop around, so that they can be confident when choosing a property.
Guy Parker, Chief Executive of the Advertising Standards Authority, said:
“Hidden fees are not only unfair, they hit those who are struggling hardest. Our ruling today makes clear that Letting Agents need to get their houses in order and treat potential tenants fairly.
Renting a property is a significant commitment. And for those who are new to the rental market, like students, navigating it can be particularly difficult. That’s why the ASA is clamping down on Letting Agents who hide fees. Today’s ruling makes clear that agents must include all compulsory fees and charges in their quoted prices. If the fees cannot be calculated in advance then the agent must make clear that fees have been excluded, and provide enough information for consumers to establish how fees are calculated. It’s now our priority to make sure agents across the sector bring their advertising into line.”