Strawberry at the forefront of fairness
Not yet published
Earlier this week I heard a tenant express disappointment in the delay of the ban on tenant’s fees. It now looks like the fees are very unlikely to be brought in until spring of 2019.
It made me think about how the whole subject has been so badly handled and has so inaccurately presented by the government as being a great thing for tenants.
At Strawberry we are all for fairness across the board. From our understanding, the ban on tenant fees will be fair no none. I can obviously speak personally of the added pressure which will be placed on lettings agents such as ourselves. We will still have the cost of finding and checking a tenant but we will receive no payment for this – there may have been a few rogue agents who were charging very high amounts of money to a number of tenants for the same property and this must never be condoned but decent and honest agents such as ourselves have merely covered our costs, never looking upon application fees as being an additional source of revenue. Landlords have already been hit hard by tax changes and they too will struggle to absorb any additional costs which agents have to pass on; for some their property barely breaks even after costs but the image of ‘rich and ruthless’ landlords presented to us all recently makes sympathy here very difficult for most to muster.
Finally, thinking about the tenants, the real truth of the situation emerges. The loss of many landlords over the last few years (basically due to the fact that most could no longer afford to run their properties at a profit) has reduced the overall rental stock, increased competition to rent and, as a result, increased average rental values. This extra cost to tenants alone will most probably outweigh any savings to be made via ‘free’ application. And that’s before the extra increase from landlords to cover the new cost of actually getting a tenant is added…….
I am very sure that this is not the only example of a situation where government ‘meddling’ has actually adversely affected those it was designed to help but I for one would like there to be a realisation that the market will self-regulate and does not need ill- executed changes in legislation to punish a small number of rogue agents.
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