HomeLet's head of sales Vicky Quinn-Campbell looks at the latest news regarding the letting agent fee ban as well as what it means for those in the industry.
As 2019 gets underway and developments and legislative changes in the lettings industry continue to be passed through Parliament, one particular imminent change seems to have the entire industry waiting with baited breath. The forthcoming ban on fees charged to tenants was a suggestion which shook the industry from the moment it was mentioned and has continued to radiate uncertainty throughout the thousands of businesses it will affect ever since, as it’s transcended from being a mere suggestion into a concrete piece of legislation.
What do we know so far?
- The Tenants Fee Bill passed through its third reading at the House of Lords on the 15th of January
- Alongside rent and deposits, landlords and letting agents may only charge tenants fees associated with:
- A change or early termination of a tenancy, when requested by the tenant
- Utilities, communication services and Council Tax
- Payments arising from a default by the tenant, such as replacing lost keys.
- Default fees limited to charges for replacement keys or a respective security device and late rent payments.
- Holding deposits will be capped at no more than one week’s rent, applying to a maximum of one property only
- A civil offence with a fine of £5,000 for a first offence, alongside civil penalties of up to £30,000
Now, we’ve reached a point where an introduction date has been earmarked and as a result, everyone is looking for answers.
Our twenty-five years of experience in the industry stood us in good stead to guide and reassure our agents through this challenging time. Whilst it may be daunting, we wanted to create something for agents which removed all of that uncertainty and instead gave them confidence to view the future of lettings with fresh eyes and a different perspective.
At HomeLet, we’ve dedicated our last nine months to developing what we believe to be a strong and promising answer. We’ve developed a range of products for agents, providing valuable protection to Landlords, helping our agents win more business, and assisting in fill the income gap created by the tenant fee ban with a new, healthy revenue stream. Fittingly, we’ve called those products Evolution.
They take the highly acclaimed service we were already offering our agents and further improve on it, resulting in a definitive level of protection for landlords. We’re best placed to deliver high quality referencing and have what we believe is the ultimate Landlord proposition – helping our agents navigate through an increasingly tough and complex market place.
Finally, we’ve started the ball rolling on helping our agents work Evolution into their landlord proposition – and the response so far has been overwhelmingly positive. Feedback from agents praise the pricing scheme of Evolution, the different product options as well as the thought that Evolution has brought something new and refreshing to their business, which is helping to generate more £’s per let.
We’d love to hear from you if you’d like to learn more about how to evolve your business. Get in touch with your account manager for more information, or call us on our Evolution phone line on 0330 333 7124
Vicky Quinn-Campbell, HomeLet head of sales