Tenant Fees Bill

Written evidence submitted by Jenny Robinson, Hythe and Waterside Lettings (TFB31)

Dear Public Bill Committee

Re: TENANT FEE BAN

As a New Forest constituent and Letting Agent for the last 44 years in Hythe and a loyal supporter and member of the Conservative party, I urge you to support letting agents and NOT support this ban, reasons being:

Our income on Tenant lettings fees is £3k per month, all of our lettings staff work to full capacity, lettings is demanding work, there’s so much legislation to implement nowadays, we CANNOT afford to lose 2 members of staff to pay for this new legislation.

We will have to pass this fee onto the landlord who in turn will have to recoup it from the tenant in rent.

50% of Landlords are already selling up due to the new tax laws, wherein you cannot offset a legitimate expense ie the mortgage against your rental income. This feels like the last nail in the coffin.

9000 regulated Letting Agents are doing a wonderful job, many will go out of business, we are scapegoats for the 1000’s of unregulated private landlords who are not abiding by legislation.

Only recently our EPC Assessor was instructed to carry out 1500 EPC’s for a private landlord, this is where the problem is, not with letting Agents. We’ve been doing EPC’s for years!! Maybe a name and shame register is needed? We won’t work for landlords that refuse to carry out the legislation.

No tenant has ever quibbled about the set up fees, we carry out lots of genuine work for tenants and landlords, the list is insurmountable. (If you have an hour one day, I can go through it with you). Our fees are NOT extortionate in fact they are very little for the work that we cover, if we were a Solicitor you’d be looking at 10 times our fees. Does anyone go into a Solicitors practice and start telling them what they can or cannot charge?

As you are aware there is a housing crisis and has been for years, this is just going to get worse, the only people that will be able to whether this storm is the private landlords, those that rip tenants off and provide substandard housing!!!!

So I beg you NOT to support this bill, it’s catastrophic for tenants, landlords, us and the housing market.

Kind regards

May 2018

 

Prepared 4th June 2018