Important new guidance for ‘letting professionals’ is available from RLA policy Director Richard Jones regarding consumer protection. New legislation requires letting agents and landlords to provide tenants with the transparent information regarding rented properties and matters regarding their tenancy. The RLA “Guide to landlord/agent duties to tenants under Consumer Protection legislation do’s and don’ts” is now available to download.
Guidance from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) – who have replaced the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) – concentrates on consumers’ rights, or how both agents and landlords should treat tenants. Additional guidance for letting agents is provided when dealing with landlords also, as landlords can be considered consumers under the new guidance.
Best practice guidance for letting agents is to treat all landlords as consumers…even those who are could very easily be commercial/business landlords.
There are important obligations that both landlords and agents have towards tenants. These include giving tenants full information as to costs, charges and deposits, and not misleading tenants about the property.
The guide describes what tenants need to be provided with during various stages of tenancy. For example, when advertising a property all descriptions and pictures must be pertinent to the property – you cannot have a picture of a garden in advertising pictures if there is not one associated with the property. Before discussing fees, all charges must be transparent, for credit checks for example. When entering into a tenancy, deposits and guarantors (where applicable) must be described and explained fully.
A full analysis of the guidance has been written by RLA Policy Director Richard Jones and can be found here.
- Guide to landlord and agent duties to tenants under consumer protection legislation: Do’s and don’ts
- Guide to agent’s obligations to landlords under consumer protection legislation: Do’s and don’ts
- Tenants: guide to landlord/agents marketing and advertising properties to rent – information to give tenants
An article explaining the guidance will also appear in the forthcoming issue of the RLA member’s magazine the Residential Property Investor (RPI).