Section 4 – Appointment of agents
11.Section 4 introduces a new subsection (2A) to section 88 of the 2004 Act to allow a local authority to charge a registered landlord a fee when the landlord notifies the local authority of the appointment of an agent. There is currently no power for the local authority to charge a fee for such an addition to the landlord’s register entry, although assessing whether the agent is a fit and proper person will involve expense to the local authority. Setting a fee will enable local authorities to recover costs and will be fairer for those landlords and agents who pay fees, because they register at an earlier stage. New subsection (2B) ensures that no fee is payable if the fit and proper test has already been carried out on the agent. New subsection (2C) gives Ministers powers to prescribe by regulations the fees, how fees are to be arrived at, and circumstances in which no fee is payable. The Act further amends section 88 to make it an offence if landlords do not notify local authorities that they have appointed an agent or provide false information. The penalty is a fine on summary conviction not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.