Tenant Fees Bill

Written evidence submitted by Maria Morgan, Managing Director, Platinum Properties Ely (TFB05)

Dear Sirs,

 

I write concerning the scrutiny by the Public Bill Committee on the above matter.

 

Working in an area of high housing need and limited supply we are currently in a position where, thanks to Section 24, we are already seeing an issue with housing in the locality due to Landlords relieving themselves of their portfolios. It is important we consider that not all people we help house will ever be in a position to afford to buy and the current bill seems not to consider the position of those individuals at all, but, having one working here directly in our office, we see the potential impact of this on these types of tenants first hand.

 

If the Tenant Fee Bill were to come into force as it currently stands, without adequate provision for social housing in high demand areas, we would predict the following outcomes for this area;

 

· Further Landlords selling off portfolios due to increased costs making renting out property a less profitable endeavour, and, let’s be frank, nobody is going to do anything that is not profitable, there is no commercial sense in this.

· Decrease in availability will set rents to rise, whilst easing initial costs for those renting. This will penalise those such as our administrator who is bordering unaffordability on their two bedroom rental home in which they have happily lived for over 5 years.

· Difficulty for those with pets renting, Landlords are already reluctant to place pets within homes, if their ability to take a small additional deposit of £300 on top of six weeks rent as deposit as we currently do is restricted the simple answer will be to not place pets in the properties.

· Difficult for those with adverse credit history renting when they cannot gain a guarantor. We have a number of tenants with adverse credit history for whom a guarantor will not stand, we currently take an additional deposit for this to indemnify our client, if we can no longer do this they will not be considered for a rental home in this area.

· Difficulty for those on benefits. Individuals that require housing assistance are already seen as less than desirable tenants, in areas of high demand, such as we are in, they will simply receive no assistance when Landlords have no possibility of security.

· Race to the finish line. A ban on fees in an area as it is currently set out, offering no penalty for tenants who pull out of moving into homes, in areas of high demand such as this will see us look to take and process several potential applicants and the fastest to move in will ‘win’ the property, the remaining applicants will then be left disappointed and disillusioned.

 

The bill puts us in a position where the Landlord is very much the clients which I feel is an exceptionally good thing as this will avoid any confusion as to whom we work for as an agent, although, sadly, it removes the support I feel that, as a good agent, we have provided to tenants.

 

This is a double edged sword on many fronts, but this blanket ‘solution’ is not suitable across the country as each area is different with a different market and here in this locality it will exacerbate an already difficult housing situation.

May 2018

 

Prepared 4th June 2018