The lack of transparency concerning the annual renewal fees private landlords have to pay letting agents has to stop, according to the National Landlords Association's (NLA) vice-chairman.

John Socha said that contracts between property owners and agents need to be plain and intelligible.

His comments come after the High Court ruled that the charges set by letting firms when landlords renew tenancy agreements are "severely camouflaged".

In passing judgement, Mr Justice Mann said that he thought "all the relevant provisions to be unfair for the purposes of the regulations".

The Office of Fair Trading, which had taken Foxtons to court on the matter, said that it hoped the verdict would prompt agents to be more transparent and follow all the rules.

It had been reported that some fees for renewing tenancy agreements can reach around 11 per cent of the annual rental yield.

Keshav Thukaram, managing director of property portal Smartlandlord.co.uk, said that the High Court's decision represented a victory for the private rented sector as a whole.

Written by Sarah Field
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