Proposed bans to lettings fees remain a mystery for many landlords

by Gary Whittaker

In the government's Autumn Statement last year, it was revealed that Westminster intends to make a big change to the lettings market in the UK, banning letting agents’ fees as a way to make the process less costly for tenants. 

However, criticisms of this move have been commonplace ever since, with experts stating that it would make it more expensive for landlords to invest, as agents are forced to increase what they charge owners. By extension, this would increase what tenants in the UK need to pay as well. 

And despite the fact that this change would have a sizeable impact in a number of different ways - and on a range of groups - new research has discovered that a high proportion of landlords, one of the most directly affected groups, are still not aware of the proposals. 

The new rules, when they do come into play, will mean that tenants are never having to pay more than their rent and a refundable deposit, meaning things like reference fees, applicant charges and renewal admin fees being banned. Landlords would have to foot the bills that tenants are no longer required to pay, but in spite of this, property management platform No Agent found that 31 per cent of landlords are unaware of what the changes will mean. 

In addition to this, another 14 per cent said they feel like they only know a small amount about the proposals, and do not have all the information they need to make informed decisions about their investment. 

Calum Brannan, chief executive officer of No Agent, said: "It’s worrying to see the awareness of the proposed tenant fee ban amongst landlords is so low, particularly given how much of an impact this will have on their current business models. More needs to be done by the government to ensure this vital group know what is to come into effect in 2018."

The survey also found that more than half of landlords believe a ban on fees would mean owners passing additional costs down to tenants through higher rental prices. 

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07-September-17General Lettings News