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Ban or Cap – Letting Fees Debate

The 2016 Autumn Statement announced that letting agents fees would be banned. Currently letting agents can charge a number of fees to cover costs such as reference checks, administration and employability checks to tenants.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said shifting the cost to landlords would save 4.3 million households hundreds of pounds.

The Chancellor is looking to target those agents that make a profit on their fees; unfair charges are simply not fair. At this stage, there is no date for the ban, a consultation will take place but as a letting agent, I am preparing for change. Fees may be banned altogether or they may just be capped. Time will tell.

Agents have always had to be clear about their fees and it is a legal requirement to do so.

A statement from the BBC Business website states David Cox, managing director of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (Arla), said: "A ban on letting agent fees is a draconian measure, and will have a profoundly negative impact on the rental market.

"It will be the fourth assault on the sector in just over a year and do little to help cash-poor renters save enough to get on the housing ladder. This decision is a crowd-pleaser, which will not help renters in the long-term. All of the implications need to be taken into account.

"Most letting agents do not profit from fees."

Read their article here

So, how does this impact me as a letting agent?

The changes mean that competition will be high and that as a letting agent I will have to step up and offer more than just a letting agent service. I will need to stand out and above the competition, as landlords will now shop around for the cheapest option.

How will this affect tenants?

Charges will be lower or passed on to the landlord but rents are likely to rise as landlord's look to cover their costs.

Competition is healthy

I am already offering a first class service with a personal touch and by continuing to do so this will allow me to manage your properties with professionalism and passion.

Fees vary across the country but remember, just because an agent offers a low fee it doesn't mean that you will receive the best service, after all, you get what you pay for.

If you want to work with a partner that's passionate about keeping your team, your landlords and tenants happy then I am that person.

I work on all aspects of lettings and therefore fully appreciate the challenges that your lettings business faces on a day-to-day basis including legal changes.

I provide you with one point of contact throughout the tenancy but also understand that communication keeps all parties happy.

So, if you're curious about outsourced property management, or are keen to find out more about how my business could help you, then I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you for a discussion. Get in touch today.

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