There has been a change in Northern Ireland property law on the subject of fees charged to a prospective tenant when they rent a property through a letting agent.
It’s been law across England, Scotland & Wales for a fair amount of time that charging a tenant fees when they apply for a property or sign a tenancy agreement is illegal. The change came as court cases across the UK were ruled in favour of tenants not paying for a service that would be of benefit to a landlord, or that the landlord would otherwise have to provide themselves, if they were not using an agent.
Northern Ireland law has not been as quick to make the same changes clear, however, recently in Belfast a high profile law suit involving a university student taking their letting agent to court on this subject, won their case, the letting agents actions were deemed as unlawful and were ordered to issue a refund.
In light of this, within the next year it is likely that a change will be made to N.I. property law, bringing the country in line with the rest of the UK and providing clarity on the subject. Right now ‘The Commission on Disposals of Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1986’ is the piece of law that you can arm yourself with, should you as a tenant be faced with charges for renting any property. This is currently what is stopping agents from charging fees and provides protection to prospective tenants.
Although not clearly drafted into law as ‘illegal’ yet, it is clear that this act is not lawful and is certainly not in the best interests of offering a good service to tenants. Lettings Company is taking a proactive approach to this. Instead of waiting for law to be passed we are simply changing the way we work. It‘s now 100% free for a tenant to apply for and sign for a property with us – good to know!
If your in the market for a property, visit us at www.lettings-company.com and make a booking any time to view our available homes using our 24/7 online booking system. Alternatively call us on 07983567878 and speak to a friendly member of our team.
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