Most of the UK will have seen in the news this week that up front admin fees are to be outlawed in England, but what does this mean to landlords, agents and tenants?
At Moovahome, we agree that something needed to be done to regulate the industry or as a better alternative would of liked to see the introduction of a cap onto the fees agents charge tenants at the start of the tenancy. An outright ban seems excessive as the checks agents do are both legally required, maintain good practice and are costly to do. We charge £200 + VAT to the tenant only. importantly this is per tenancy not person, and no fee is charged to the landlord for the finding of the tenant (if on full management). We have recently done some research in Swindon and found fees vary from £200 up to £700 in total upfront fees at the start of a tenancy.
Going forward, we will still be doing the right to rent checks, full credit checks and landlord/employer references however when fees are outlawed, we will no longer be able to recoup our costs from the tenant. Our worry is any resulting cost to the landlord will inevitabely be passed onto the tenants by way of a rent increase which will affect the whole marketplace.
At present, it appears the legislation will not be passed until 2018, we will keep an eye on this and update you when we hear anything.