Tenant Fees Bill

Written evidence submitted by Tracey Glenn, Lettings Director at John German (TFB02)

As an active member of ARLA Propertymark, the UK’s foremost professional body for the lettings industry, I am writing to you about the Government’s intention to ban tenant fees. This directly contradicts both the Government’s previous stance on the issue and its stated aim of encouraging long term tenancies.

 

The Government has now released a public consultation in which it intends to bring forward a full ban on fees charged by letting agencies to tenants. This would have a profoundly negative impact on landlords, tenants and agents. Economic research commissioned by ARLA Propertymark shows:

 

· Landlords are likely to pass on their increased costs to tenants in the form of higher rents. As a result tenants will pay an extra £103 per year

· This means those tenants who move more frequently will receive savings on overall costs but longer term tenants, who are likely to be lower income families, will see a loss

· As a result, the proposed ban contradicts the Government’s stated aim to encourage longer term tenancies.

 

The economic research proves that fees cover real work which must be undertaken, and these costs need to be recovered. Tenant referencing and mandatory Right to Rent checks take up to eight hours on average to complete and I believe this should be excluded from the ban.   When going through the home buying process, fees are paid to a conveyancer (at a significantly higher charge) to bring together the legal aspects to enable a move.  This is only what a letting agent does for a tenant.

 

I strongly believe that the cost of referencing should be excluded from the bill.

May 2018

 

Prepared 5th June 2018