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Our thoughts on the proposed ban on letting fees

Mon 27 Feb 2017

It goes without saying it has been a turbulent time in the Lettings Industry. The latest announcement on tenant fees left little doubt that the Government are committed to fixing the so called “Broken” housing market in the UK. The announcement shocked our industry and prompted us all to re-think our business models moving forward. There is no doubt that there are unregulated agents out there taking advantage unprecedented demand across the private rental sector and charging huge amounts for their services. This along with the lack of transparency and consistency has left a bad taste in the mouth of the consumer. 

In my opinion a complete ban on lettings fees isn’t the answer in regards to easing pressure on “generation rent” and no doubt rents will rise well above average as a direct result. This along with the fact many agents will reduce investment into the service provided could well see the standard of agency drop as a result. Lettings agents serve a very important part of process in regards to protecting tenants interests, health and safety and standards of accommodation across a diverse and complicated market for the consumer. To de-value this service could have a negative impact and move the industry back rather than forward. 

I would like to see fees capped across the industry at the same level to allow agents to continue to offer great service but regulate the financial uncertainty renters face. Another option would be to spread the costs over a longer period of time and give greater protection to tenants with longer fixed tenancies. As always change can be a scary time for those affected but it allows the professional agents who offer excellent customer service the chance to shine. The old adage that the customer remembers the service much longer than the price rings very true here.

"We have thought carefully over the weekend about what to do next concerning selling our property, and we both think that for the time being we should stay put due to our situation. We will return to you, as you and your colleagues really are a top notch estate agent and we can clearly see just why you are so successful. Thank you all for your help."
Mr Oldfield - April 2014

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