>Should Lettings Agents be...
This is a hot topic in the industry at the moment with the Government set to vote within days. But what would this actually do? Well the bottom line is that it would force a lot of Lettings Agents out of business. The industry in our part of London is extremely competitive and there are agents out there who charge landlords a very low fee that rely on tenant admin fees in order to survive. If these fees were abolished, many smaller independent agents would disappear. This would leave landlords with fewer Lettings Agents to choose from to rent out their properties, which would no doubt lead to the remaining agents raising their fees as demand for their services increases. So, if it costs a landlord more in agency fees, and the landlord also has to foot the bill for professional referencing, check out fees etc., can you guess what will happen? Yes, absolutely spot on, that landlord will put his rent up! Hoorah, finally a fair deal for tenants! Er, no. Quite simply, this proposal will do absolutely nothing to help tenants whatsoever. The second part of Mr Milibands proposal. The three year tenancy agreement. Aside from the fact that many leasehold properties (mainly flats, which in our area make up the bulk of rental stock) are restricted by freeholders to only being let on a 12 month assured shorthold tenancy agreements, and the small issue of many building societies stipulating that any property that is mortgaged and rented out (which we'd suggest covers the majority) can't be let for a period of longer than 12 months, MOST LANDLORDS DON'T WANT TO BE TIED TO A THREE YEAR AGREEMENT, ANY NEITHER DO MOST TENANTS. Now I agree that tenant admin fees should be capped and yes there are Lettings Agents out there who take the biscuit by charging tenants £400 or £500, tenants do need a fairer deal. But is putting lettings agents out of business and hiking up rents the answer? Our thoughts on the latest political interference into the UK rental market.