Tenant Fees Bill

Written evidence submitted by Dennis Dowen, Managing Director, Dowen Surveyors and Estate Agents (TFB12)

Dear Sirs


I established this business 36 years ago

We are members of and regulated by RICS, NAEA and The Property Ombudsman and as such are professionals

The business employs 50 people and has a turn-over of £3,000,000

Among this turn-over is the commission income from our lettings business of £650,000

In this, is commission of around £100,000, raised from Tenants Fees. We charge £255 per property, to the tenant/tenants. It is only paid if a tenant successfully lets the property

The lettings business employs, 8 full time agents, with families to provide for, who manage a stock of around 700 well maintained and managed properties, owned by private landlords

The payroll for my letting agents amounts to around £144,000 pa

If tenant fees are banned and I am expected to take an overnight cut in income of £100,000 pa – how can I reasonably expect to continue to employ, 8 lettings agents. It is impossible?

· The end result will be reorganisation and redundancies

· Rents increased to make up for the commission shortfall, which ultimately, tenants will pay anyway

· Yet more, expense placed on landlords, who will bail out of the private lettings market, in greater numbers

The solution to this problem is to eliminate the GREED ELIMENT of many agents (particularly in London), who make excess charges to tenants, by simply introducing a cap on tenant fees and legalisation to prevent additional charges, once a tenant has occupied

In my view, what we charge tenants, is reasonable and realistic amount for the work we carry out of their behalf. There is certainly no apparent tenant resistance, to paying what we charge

I should imagine it is easy for a politician to take the populist route and simply vote for a total ban, whilst paying no heed whatever, to the dedicated people out here, who work in the private lettings estate agency sector, providing great service to landlords and tenants alike

Please do the right thing.... the sensible thing.... and introduce a cap

Yours Sincerely

Denis H Dowen

Managing Director

May 2018


Prepared 4th June 2018