Residential Lettings Agency Appointment Form (Letting & Deposit Holding Service)
This Residential Lettings Agency Appointment Form (Letting & Deposit Holding Service) is for use by residential lettings agencies when they take on a new landlord client. The form is completed and signed by the Owner of a property who wishes to appoint an Agent to market the property and protect the tenant’s security deposit during the tenancy.
The Appointment Form, in conjunction with the Residential Lettings Agency Terms and Conditions (Letting & Deposit Holding Service), creates a contract between the Agency and the Owner. The Appointment Form and Terms and Conditions can be displayed on the Agency’s website but must also be provided to Owners in hard copy.
This version of the Appointment Form should be used where the Agency’s role is limited to finding a tenant and protecting the security deposit during the tenancy. If the Agency is to manage the property or collect rent for the Owner, the “Fully Managed” or “Rent Collection Service” versions of the Appointment Form should be used instead. If the Owner is responsible for protecting the security deposit, the “Letting Only” version should be used.
Contracts between Owners and Agents are sometimes made in the Owner’s home. The form therefore includes the information required under The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 which relate to contracts made in a consumer’s home or otherwise off the trader’s premises. Essentially, these are details of the services that will be provided, the identity of the Agency, pricing and the Owner’s right to cancel.
The Appointment Form contains fields for the Agent’s details, the Owner’s details and a detailed description of the property. Details of the agency arrangements are also captured: the agency start date and fixed term, the Letting Commission and Management Commission, target rent, tenant payments and security deposit.
Under the Tenant Fees Act 2019, landlords and letting agents in England must only charge 'permitted payments' as defined by the Act or face financial penalties (and subsequent offences could result in a criminal offence). 'Permitted Payments' (under the TFA) include rent, tenancy deposit, council tax, utilities, tv licence and default fees (for late payment of rent and replacement of a lost key/security device, where required under a tenancy agreement).
Similar provisions also affect Wales by virtue of the Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Wales) Act 2019 ('RHFWA') which affects landlords and letting agents in Wales only. Any breach of this act is an offence and is prosecutable in the magistrates' court and the offender will be liable to a fine. Landlords and letting agents in Wales must only charge 'Permitted Payments' as defined by the RHFWA which include rent, tenancy deposit, council tax, utilities, tv licence and default fees (in the event of breach of the AST by the tenant). Default fees in Wales may be subject to prescribed limits if further regulations are made.
Under the Tenant Fees Act 2019 (in force from 01 June 2019), security deposits for new or renewed tenancies in England must be capped at five weeks' rent if the yearly rent is under £50,000 or six weeks' rent if the yearly rent is £50,000 or more.
Security deposits for tenancies in Wales are not currently capped but the RHFWA gives the Welsh government the power to introduce caps in the future.
At the end of the form is a “model cancellation form”. This is to comply with the 2013 Regulations referred to above which give a 14 day “cooling off” period in relation to contracts made off the trader’s premises. If the Appointment Form is signed at the Agency’s office this wording is not required and can be deleted.
In most cases, the Owner will want the Agency to begin marketing the property straight away, rather than wait for the 14 day cooling off period to expire. The Appointment Form therefore includes an instruction to the Agency to commence marketing immediately and an acknowledgement of the consequences this will have for the Owner under the 2013 Regulations. These are first, loss of the right to cancel if a letting is agreed within the 14 day period and, secondly, a requirement to pay the Agency for any services performed up to the date of cancellation, should the Owner exercise the right to cancel.
By signing the form the Owner confirms that there are no restrictions (such as planning control, mortgage conditions or restrictions in the title deeds) that prevent the property being let. Owners should investigate these matters before entering into a contract with an Agency. The Agent also signs the form to confirm that the terms of the agency contract have been explained to the Owner.
Optional phrases / clauses are enclosed in square brackets. These should be read carefully and selected so as to be compatible with one another. Unused options should be removed from the document.
This Residential Lettings Agency Appointment Form (Letting & Deposit Holding Service) is in open format. Either enter the requisite details in the highlighted fields or adjust the wording to suit your purposes.
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