At the start of November we headed over to the OFT for a workshop on their draft guidance for letting professionals, which they are currently consulting on.
We were amongst representatives from industry, trading standards, as well as consumer bodies. The aim of the workshop was to give feedback on the guidance to ensure that it’s easy for lettings professionals to follow and isn’t missing any important details that might affect a tenant’s experience of the letting process: from searching for a place to rent, to interactions with letting agents prior to moving in, through to when a tenancy agreement comes to an end.
In September the Committee of Advertising Practice, the body responsible for writing the Advertising Codes that we administer, issued guidance to advertisers on how to make sure non-optional fees are stated clearly and upfront. The deadline for advertisers to comply was 1 November. Our compliance teams are now working hard to monitor sites and ensure that changes are made.
The OFT’s guidance for letting professionals builds on the work that we’ve done, and proposes additional requirements for advertisers, including property operators, to ensure that non-optional fees are transparent.
We’ll be submitting a formal response on the advertising sections of the OFTs consultation. The OFT is also welcoming comments from tenants and other interested parties on the draft guidance up until 10 December.
Find out more about the OFT’s consultation here.