Adverts for rental property will have to change significantly in the coming months as the practical application of the tenant fees ban is worked out on the ground, it has been claimed.
ARLA Propertymark chief executive David Cox (pictured, below) says adverts may soon have to give details of what’s included in the rent in order for services to be charged that otherwise are prohibited by the Tenant Fees Act.
“For example we’re having lots of questions being asked about chimney sweeping,” he says.
“It may sound odd, but if a chimney needs to be swept once or twice a year then the advert would have to make it clear that the rent included that service because it can’t be charged for separately.
“It’s just one example of a piece of legislation that looks simple on the surface but when you start getting into it is ludicrously complicated.”
Cox has told The Negotiator that another sticking point is charging extra fees for pets. Agents are not able to charge a fee for extra cleaning services under the legislation, so adverts should now include two rents for pet-friendly landlords.
“If the rent is £500 a month for a pet-friendly house then a second rent will have to be quoted for in the advert for those who might be bringing a pet with them – perhaps an extra £20 a month,” says Cox.
Contents insurance is also causing confusion. ARLA says some agents believe they can require or ‘mandate’ tenants to take out contents insurance as a condition of moving into a property. But this is now a prohibited payment.