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Letting Agent Responsibilities for Websites

Following reports that Trading Standards have been checking agent websites for compliance, it is important that you understand what you should display. This is why we have compiled this article about letting agent responsibilities for websites.

As transparency becomes more important across every area of life, the lettings industry is no different. Tenants’ groups are continually pressuring the government to put their members’ interests at the top of the agenda. So, it is important that landlords and letting agents can show that they have done all they can to meet regulatory expectations.

Letting Agent Responsibilities

Firstly, it's important to display information about the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating for each property on your website, so that consumers can easily access this information.

Additionally, you should have a privacy policy in place that explains how you use and protect the data of visitors to your site.

Consumer Rights and Tenant Fees

Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and Tenant Fee regulations, if applicable, you must provide information on any fees or charges that may apply to both landlords and tenants. Make sure that all rental properties listed on your site also provide a link to information on tenant fees and charges.

Although agents are now banned from passing on most fees to tenants, outlining exactly what the new situation means for tenants is a key part of your letting agent responsibilities. Your website should clearly state the fees inclusive of VAT, the name of your redress provider and the client money protection scheme into which you place.

To comply with the Consumer Estate Agents Redress Act, make sure that you display the redress scheme logo on your website, with a link to the redress website. Alternatively, provide the website address separately.

Differences Across the UK

For limited companies in England and Wales, letting agent responsibilities include displaying the registered name, registered address, company registration number, and place of registration on your website. It's important to ensure that this information matches exactly with the information held at Companies House. Even if you trade under a different name, it is important that you display the actual company name too. You might need to include a statement that says [TRADING NAME] is a trading name of [ACTUAL COMPANY NAME].

For partnerships or individuals with under 20 partners, you should list each partner's name and provide an address where documents can be served.

To comply with the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, make sure that you provide information on price, tenure, and council tax band or rates payable in Northern Ireland for each property listed on your site.

Other Landlord Responsibilities

Other landlord responsibilities include the necessity to ensure everything on your website meets the guidelines for accuracy. You cannot make false claims about properties or the areas in which they are situated. The Advertising Standards Agency is another body with a keen eye on letting agent websites.

Of course, letting agents use flowery language to promote their properties and that is fine. As long as it doesn’t stray into anything that could be deemed misleading.

Outsourcing Property Management

Getting the information right on your website is just one of your letting agent responsibilities. With so much pressure on compliance across the range of lettings services, you can find yourself overwhelmed. That is why we provide an outsourced property management service. We can take that weight from your shoulders and provide a professional service to keep both your landlords and tenants happy. Talk to us today about how we can help – use the contact box below.


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