The advice sheets below have the latest information on fair trading. If you need more advice call 01753 475111 (Regulatory Services option).
In the guide
Requirements regarding the fees that may be charged to clients by landlords, letting agents and property management businesses; and the display of fees and membership of client money protection schemes
This guidance is for England
Legislation requires that property tenants may only be charged certain fees and for accommodation letting agents and property management businesses to display fees and charges to clients.
The requirements relate to landlords and businesses that receive instructions from clients regarding accommodation to be let under assured tenancy agreements to:
Landlords may only charge clients the following fees in respect of tenancy agreements:
Display of fees
Letting agents are required to indicate the fees, charges and penalties payable to the letting agent by their clients under contracts for:
However, the following fees do not have to be indicated:
An assured tenancy is one as defined in the Housing Act 1988 (excluding long leases as defined in the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993) except where the landlord is a:
Letting agents must display a list of relevant fees:
This list must be displayed in a conspicuous place.
Where a letting agent advertises on a third party website that agent must either:
The displayed fees list must include:
Client money protection
Property agents (those who engage in letting agency or property management work in England) are required to belong to an approved client money protection scheme.
Such property agents must display or publish, together with the required list of fees, a statement indicating that the agent is a member of a client money protection scheme and providing the name of the scheme.
If the client money protection scheme to which a property agent belongs issues a certificate confirming membership of the scheme, the property agent must:
Property agents must notify clients in writing within 14 days if their membership of a client money protection scheme is revoked or provide clients with details if they change membership to a different scheme.
Guidance on client money protection is available on the GOV.UK website.
Complaint redress scheme
Letting agents engaging in letting agency or property management work relating to private accommodation must be a member of a redress scheme for dealing with complaints in connection with that work.
Such businesses must display:
For more information see Letting Agents and Property Managers: Which Government Approved Scheme do you Belong To?, which was produced by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has produced Tenant Fees Act 2019: Guidance for Landlords and Letting Agents.
Failure to comply with trading standards law can lead to enforcement action and to sanctions, which may include a fine and/or imprisonment. For more information please see 'Trading standards: powers, enforcement & penalties'.
Last reviewed / updated: September 2019
This information is intended for guidance; only the courts can give an authoritative interpretation of the law.
The guide's 'Key legislation' links may only show the original version of the legislation, although some amending legislation is linked to separately where it is directly related to the content of a guide. Information on amendments to legislation can be found on each link's 'More Resources' tab.