The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has released a consumer leaflet highlighting some of the pitfalls consumers may come across when entering into tenancy agreements. The leaflet, Unfair Tenancy Terms ‘ Don’t Get Caught Out, includes examples of what the OFT considers unfair terms, and gives advice on what tenants can do if they think their agreement is unfair.
Examples include penalty charges or excessive interest for late payment of rent; if only the landlord can decide if an agreement has been breached; and landlords entering premises without reasonable notice.
John Vickers, director general of fair trading at the OFT, said: ‘Thousands of people rent their homes ‘ for example, students renting accommodation for the first time. They may not get a fair deal if they do not understand the tenancy terms. This leaflet will help them identify unfair terms.
The leaflet is a follow up to November’s issue of Guidance on Unfair Terms in Tenancy Agreements, which was aimed at advisers and those who supply standard tenancy agreements. The purpose of both leaflets is solely as a guide to the application of the present law, and carries no regulatory authority.
l Both leaflets are available on the OFT website at www.oft.gov.uk or telephone 0870 606 321