This is a rather complicated right and is scattered throughout the various consumer laws and regulations.
The main points are as follows:
You have a right to be given correct information about the property before you rent it.
This right is set out in various adverting rules and under the misrepresentation legislation. If the property was advertised through a letting agent, you will be able to complain about any issues here to their Property Redress Scheme.
Your tenancy agreement clauses must be fair or they will be invalid
This used to be under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations but is now under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. The rules are quite complex but are explained to a certain extent in the Landlord Law Blog posts below.
Trading Standards are supposed to regulate the unfair terms regulations but since the closure of the Office of Fair Trading, less work is done here. However if a tenancy agreement clause is unfair the landlord will not be able to enforce it against you and you will have a defence to any proceedings brought through the courts.
Letting agents must now publish their fees and be a member of a Property Redress Scheme
The fees need to be published, inclusive of VAT, at the agent’s premises and on their website. The fees need to be specific and not vaguely refer to ‘admin charges’.
There are three property redress schemes. They are:
Landlord Law Blog Posts
- Tenants Legal Help – five tips on your tenancy agreement
- Recent changes to letting agent fees
- New case on unfair terms in tenancy agreements
- Tenancy Agreements 31 days of tips – Day 15 – unfair terms (1)
- Tenancy Agreements 31 days of tips – Day 16 – unfair terms (2)
(NB Note that the 31 days of tips series was written in 2010 so is now rather old).
Action – with letting agents, your best course of action will normally be to complain to their redress scheme. It is more difficult with landlords – if you can afford it, try to get specialist advice if you have an issue.