Camden Council won a test case against an estate agent recently for not complying with The Consumer Rights Act 2015 when publicising information for tenants.
Although the case dates back to a breach which stopped in March 2016, the award (£18,000) was so high that it is worth reminding our Clients to check that they are compliant with the Act.
The agent was issued with a non-compliance notice for failing to provide detail about the work their 'administration fee' covered, displaying rent in weekly figures when it could only be paid monthly and not displaying information about tenancy deposit schemes.
The notice was challenged and determined by the Property Tribunal. After appeal, the agent was left with a fine of £18,000 for non-compliance with the Act. Usually the fine is limited to £5,000 per breach but because they had multiple offices, they were fined for each breach.
Please check that your literature clearly explains what fees will be incurred when tenants sign up and publicise it in each office.
"We are delighted with this judgment as it has clarified what letting agents must do when publicising their fees. Because of our successful appeal, customers can now fully understand what they are liable for and make informed choices and proper comparisons with other letting agents about the fees charged”