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Landlords still being hit by unfair terms from letting agents

Posted: 31st August 2011   In: Commercial Property, Residential Conveyancing

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has warned that consumer landlords are still being presented with potentially unfair terms in contracts with some letting agents.

The warning follows the enforcement case last year against Foxtons for breaching the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 (UTCCR).

Foxtons agreed to amend some of its terms concerning sales and commissions after the High Court ruled that they were unfair.

The OFT estimates that its enforcement order has provided an annual benefit of at least £4.4m for landlords that use Foxtons.

However, although there is no longer a problem with Foxtons, the OFT is concerned that other letting agents seem to be unaware of the High Court ruling and are still offering terms that may be unfair.

Amelia Fletcher, OFT Chief Economist, said: “There is evidence of continuing poor practice by some letting agents, which need to go further to make their contracts transparent and fair.”

The OFT is now warning letting agents to check their terms and conditions to make sure that they are in line with the High Court ruling.

Landlords may also want to seek legal advice to ensure that they are not being treated unfairly in their agreements with letting agents.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article.