Tenant Fees Bill

Written evidence submitted by Nathan Anderson-Dixon, Managing Director, Abode Midlands (TFB28)

To Whom it may concern,

I am e-mailing to offer my view and opinion as a small estate agent, letting property in the Midlands.

Being pretty resourceful estate agents will find a way to get around this to maintain their income and ultimately the amount paid by tenants will be the same, just extracted in a different way.

I personally believe that a ban on tenant fee’s will simply drive an increase the landlord fee’s and then in turn push rents higher as the agent will have to justify this to the landlord. Therefore the tenant will end up paying the same amount, but over a longer period.

Most tenants accept that they have to pay a "reasonable" referencing fee.

I believe that referencing fee’s should simply become capped at a "reasonable" level. They should not be determined by the transactional value of the let, and they should not be determined by the location of the property.

There are a whole raft of "other charges" created by unscrupulous estate agents to drive up revenues. These could be for example:

· You want to move in on a Saturday = £50 extra

· You called us on a Sunday during Countryfile regarding a maintenance issue = £100

· We had to print an extra copy of the contract for you £20

· Etc….

Many of the charges are just made up by agents, and are frankly unfair. Therefore I would also suggest that as well as a cap there is a restriction on what "services" agents can charge tenants for also. For example:

· Referencing

· Renewal of contract

· Pet agreements

· Guarantor agreements

Such things are a legitimate requirement and can be justified providing the charge is within set guild lines.

I don’t believe a blanket ban of fee’s is an intelligent solution.

Kind Regards

Nathan

Nathan Anderson-Dixon

MANAGING DIRECTOR

May 2018

 

Prepared 4th June 2018