Trading Standards warning letter over letting agent fees

4 December 2020 | Renting

Trading Standards warning letter over letting agent fees

A warning about illegal fees by letting agents has been produced by a local council Trading Standards team. 

It has come from Nottingham city council’s Trading Standards team and, while the advice applies to everyone, it seems to be aimed particularly at students who are considering accommodation for the next academic year.

The aim appears to be to make sure they don’t pay any administration or other fees which shouldn’t be demanded. 

The letter reiterates the legal position that agents and landlords can legally charge only holding deposits capped at one week’s rent, for security deposits capped at five weeks’ rent, for utility bill and council tax, default fees such as key loss and damages, plus fees relating to a change to a tenancy or termination charges. 

A council spokesman says: “This year has been a difficult one for all of us, but especially students who are living away from family members in another part of the country. We want to make sure that there are no further issues as they begin the process of finding and securing accommodation for the next academic term, which is likely to begin soon.

“The advice in our document highlighted here is important because it sets out clearly exactly what fees it is appropriate to be paying as a tenant, and which would be illegal if asked for. Of course, this is also relevant for anyone renting in Nottingham but is particularly key for students just now.”

Trading Standards officers will be writing to some of the largest Nottingham-based landlords and letting agents to remind them of their legal obligations and provide further guidance.

This post has originally been featured in Letting Agent Today.