Consumer Protection Guidance for Lettings Industry
New guidance has been published for the lettings industry which aims to assist those professionals engaged in the letting of residential properties in compliance with consumer protection law. This follows on the heels of a report published last February by the Office of Fair Trading on the private rented sector which highlighted several concerns on how practices within the industry impacted on occupiers adversely.
The OFT was closed in March this year and its responsibilities for consumer protection were transferred to the CMA [Competition and Markets Authority] who have published the guidance following the OFT’s consultation on a draft guidance.
The Guidance suggests that lettings professionals do the following:
- Ensure all parties are aware of all charges and fees to be paid
- Avoid misleading advertising and statements
- Supply clear information on :
- Guarantor arrangements and guarantee agreements
- Tenancy deposit schemes
- Terms of tenancy agreements
- Use fair contract terms and deal fairly with all parties
- Carry out services, repairs, inspections in a reasonable time frame using reasonable care and skill
- Ensure tenants have clear information about terminating tenancies.
There are, of course, industry codes of conduct in existence for all UK countries and this Guidance complements those codes. http://www.tpos.co.uk/downloads/Code%20of%20Practice%20for%20Residential%20Letting%20Agents.pdf