NALS calls for CMA report into fees



A recent report by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) into legal services concluded that competition in legal services for individual consumers and small businesses is not working well. In particular, there is not enough transparency on price, quality and service to help those who need legal support choose the best option.

NALS CEO, Isobel Thomson, said:

“It’s interesting to see many of the recommendations the CMA has for legal services providers, such as displaying pricing and redress membership, are already law for letting agents. Despite the findings of the report, which calls for more transparency, the legal industry has been allowed to continue without the same level of government intervention the lettings industry will face with a ban on fees.

“The proposed ban is based on limited research and anecdotal evidence, as well as a lack of understanding of the likely consumer detriment that will be caused by removing payment for the services the agent provides. We believe more impartial information is crucial in advance of taking such a drastic measure as a ban.

“Given the government’s focus on improving the experience for the consumer across a number of sectors, and the importance of the private rented sector, NALS believe the CMA is best placed to undertake a report into fees and charges in the lettings market and how it should best operate to ensure a fair, safe experience for tenants, landlords and agents. NALS will be raising this at the next Fair Fees Forum Working Group meeting in January.”