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Propertymark acts to protect the legitimate business interests of its members

Tuesday 11 June 2019

With a possible breach of the Tenant Fees Act 2019 and Consumer Rights Act 2015 by an aggregator portal, placebuzz.com, Propertymark investigated to protect its members from liability, and importantly, protect consumer rights.

An article in Property Industry Eye on 15 May highlighted placebuzz.com. Several Propertymark members contacted us to say they neither knew about nor consented to their properties being listed. More importantly, it appeared tenant fees weren’t being displayed on placebuzz.com.

Propertymark contacted placebuzz.com Ltd on 5 June, outlining the concerns, as well as speaking to OnTheMarket and Zoopla, who provide daily feeds from their own websites.

The Tenant Fees Act 2019 requires agents to display their tenant fees on all third-party websites and as such, agents are liable to prosecution under the Act for properties on placebuzz.com which are not powered by OnTheMarket or Zoopla.

OnTheMarket and Zoopla confirmed on 7 June tenant fees are now being displayed. Any customers of OnTheMarketing and Zoopla who do not wish their properties to be listed on placebuzz.com should contact their account manager to opt out.

As of today, 10 June, placebuzz.com is now displaying the tenant fees for all property listings. 

Awareness and warnings against prosecution

This is a stark warning to all agents and online portals to make sure all information displayed isn’t in breach of the Tenant Fees Act 2019 or the Consumer Rights Act 2015. The Tenant Fees Act 2019 does not relieve agents of the fee transparency regulations within the Consumer Rights Act 2015. Indeed, Section 18 of the Act extends these provisions, placing a legal obligation on agents to “ensure that a list of the agents’ relevant fees are published on [any] third party website, or there is a link on that website to a part of the agent’s website where a list of those fees is published”. The penalty is a fine of up to £5,000.

Contact Propertymark at communications@propertymark.co.uk if you are aware of any other portals listing properties without displaying tenant fees.

Propertymark Tenant Fees Toolkit

The toolkit will help agents to ensure they are compliant with the Tenant Fees Act 2019 and are implementing changes and communicating confidently and transparently with clients. The toolkit includes 18 bitesize videos which includes one on Fee Transparency – view the videos.

Tenant Fees Toolkit

The Tenant Fees Act 2019 – A Guide for Tenants

Propertymark is the go-to organisation for any questions relating to property, helping to protect and guide consumers in property transactions and all our property experts meet higher standards than the law demands. The Tenant Fees Act 2019 – A Guide for Tenants outlines important changes as well as information to alert consumers to make sure their landlord or letting agent isn’t breaking any rules.