We are 6 days into the tenant fee ban, which came into effect on the 1stJune and I’ve seen a lot of fall out.
Mainly in the fact that letting agents have now started trying to shift the fees that they would have once charged the tenant onto the landlord.
I think this is outrageous. If there is a fee ban, that’s it. It’s not allowed regardless. Because if it’s unfair for the tenants to pay it, then it’s unfair that the landlords pay it.
Actually, to reference a tenant, it costs circa £20. To download a tenancy template from the Governments website, free. To alter it for the current tenancy… an hour max, so what £120 worth of time? But that’s what tenant find fees or management fees are for, the agent to act on behalf of the Landlord.
If an amendment is made to the Act, this should be it… NO FEES TO BE CHARGED AT ALL. Then the money has that extra income to spend on the property if something goes wrong. Unfortunately, money doesn’t grow on trees so if a Landlord doesn’t have the reserves because they are too busy paying fees… then that’s where bad landlords come from.
There is one point in the Act that scares me… and that is that we can charge each other as Landlords / Property Investors for providing a reference. That is where the money is going to be clawed back. It’s not reasonable, but it’s an available alternative. So, I could say to you… you want a reference on my previous tenant, that’s £150 please!
This is where this Act falls down… Landlords are still being penalised, when that money would be much better spent elsewhere i.e. on the property.
It’s time that we push back. Say no to increased letting fees and if we have to find alternatives. The best alternative would be to use an online letting agent and then a service like Viewber to handle the viewings… roughly that will cost £400 for basic services (obviously you can add extras on top if you choose).
The only way to stop the trend is to say no and keep our costs down.
Have your letting agents increased your fees? Let me know what it is and how you are dealing with it.
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