The new rules which require non-optional fees, such as admin fees, charges for inventories or references to be included in the quoted advertised rental price are long overdue, according to Dssmove.co.uk, the no 1 property portal for DSS tenants.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has given private landlords and letting agents until 1 November 2013 to be upfront about letting fees. Under the new rules, residential lettings agents must make these clear on their websites and in other media.
However, Aki Ellahi, Director of Dssmove.co.uk argues that DSS tenants need to know all the costs and conditions upfront, so they know if a property is affordable. Aki Ellahi comments: “We have advocated since the launch of Dssmove.co.uk over 12 months ago, that agents should disclose all their fees and conditions on adverts, so there is no need to financially qualify lots of tenants that are unsuitable for a property, because they can’t afford it.
“So whether the agent requires a guarantor provided, rent in advance, a deposit or administration fees, they should be detailed with the property’s rental fees. If anything is negotiable, that should also be detailed. The more tenants know about the upfront costs, the more likely they are to be serious about a property when they make an enquiry.
“We know from experience that if agents do not provide enough information up front, they get a greater volume of calls from tenants who want to check all the costs involved with a property. Gone are the days when you could just advertise a property with the rental price and get the right quality enquiries.
There are far more letting agents around today and tenants are savvy. They are all too aware that some letting agents may try to rip them off and they are prepared to shop around online and make enquiries to check affordability.”
Victor Franks, Lettings & Marketing Manager of Sterling Properties commented: “We have been very up front about our fees and requirements for DSS tenants for many years and believe that it helps us secure quality leads. We get very few prospective tenants enquiring about the affordability of a property, only to find that it is out of their reach.”
Dssmove.co.uk is a property portal, open to both landlords & letting agents and is free of charge. Dssmove.co.uk works with over 1,100 landlord and lettings agents nationwide and has over 5,000 properties on its site. The site also has over 60,000 visitors a month.
For further information call 01902 773949 or visit www.Dssmove.co.uk