March 23, 2017
Despite the government’s plans to ban letting agents from charging tenant fees, the majority of landlords say they will not be deterred from using agents to help rent out their property.
Research from the UK Association of Letting Agents (UKALA) shows that 79% of surveyed landlords based in England and Wales believe that should tenant fees be banned, the costs will be passed on to landlords. Currently, agents can charge tenants for a number of administration services including credit checks, but the expectation is that as letting agents lose out on this money, they will look to make it up by charging landlords more.
What is encouraging though, is that just 9% of landlords surveyed said that they would stop using their agents should their fees rise. 22% said they would look to find a better deal with another agent, with 13% saying they would try and negotiate on the price or refuse to pay. Richard Price, executive director of UKALA, said:
“The ban on tenant fees could leave hundreds of professional businesses with no other option than to increase fees for their landlord clients […] They’ll need to balance out the need to cover their costs in the wake of a ban on tenant fees without alienating their primary customers and source of income”.
These findings should reassure letting agents that many landlords will continue to use there services should the tenant fee ban come in, however tenants should be aware that although they could save money on fees, they could make this up in increased rent.