It is a statutory duty for letting agents to fully publicise the fees they charge to landlords and tenants, and yet there are still some agents that are breaking the law by not displaying their fees.
Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, agents must prominently display a list of their fees at each of their offices as well as on their website, and to help ensure they do, the Property Ombudsman (TPO) scheme has launched phase three of its national campaign with the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) to tackle agents that are not obeying the rules.
Having already targeted agents in Swansea and Dorset followed by Reading, Basingstoke and the surrounding areas, the next phase will see TPO contacting 117 letting agents in and around Plymouth.
The purpose of the campaign is to improve awareness of the current legislation that requires agents to display fee information, and ensure more firms are fully compliant to avoid fines of up to £5,000 being imposed by Trading Standards.
It has been reported that in the last three months, agents in London alone have been issued with fines from Trading Standards totalling as much as £370,000 for not displaying fees correctly.
The first two phases of the campaign saw 445 agents asked to submit photographic evidence, and 99% and 95% of agents were displaying fees correctly as a result of the campaign.
Katrine Sporle, Property Ombudsman, said: “We’ve had an excellent response in the regions the campaign has focused on so far, with the vast majority of agents demonstrating they are compliant.
“This campaign is about educating agents that are either failing to display the required information or are unwittingly breaching the law by not displaying it correctly, which is why our campaign is phased so we can offer agents additional guidance and support so they can put things right and avoid risking a fine from Trading Standards.”