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Letting agents told to clarify landlord and tenant fees

8 December 2015

Letting Agents Clarify Tenant Landlords FeesLandlords and letting agents must make sure any property advertising including rent prices must include any additional fees and VAT, according to updated rules issued by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The review follows a ruling against Your Move that decided adverts posted on property portal Rightmove should include information about administration fees so potential tenants could see if they had to pay any extra charges to rent a home.

That latest advice from the ASA tells landlords and letting agents to include two types of fee in their advertising – those applying to every potential tenant and other fees that cannot be calculated in advance.

Letting agents should also make any charges to landlords clear in the same way.

The ASA says:

• All media, including websites, brochures and leaflets, should clearly state non-optional fees due at the top of the page – not in small print.

The ASA suggests a statement such as ‘£1,000 pcm + £100 admin fee per tenant’ is acceptable

• If fees cannot be worked out in advance, an online advert should carry a hyperlink such as ‘Other fees may apply’ linking to a page or pop-up box listing which fees may apply and how they are calculated.

If the advert is printed, an asterisk or other signpost should direct the reader to the information on another page

If the advertising does not include a rent charge, then information about fees is not required.

Should the additional fees incur VAT, then this should be made clear to potential tenants as well.

“Any landlord or letting agent unsure of how to publicise information about fees should contact their local trading standards office for advice,” said an ASA spokesman.

“Our compliance team takes immediate action to ensure that claims in ads are amended or removed if they breach the rules.”

Read more about the update ASA rules for advertising rental property