Autumn Statement 2016
By Wednesday, 23 November 2016
The news that the government is banning letting agents fees to tenants as soon as possible and that landlords should meet those fees, has left me struggling to see how that's fair. Granted there are some letting agents charging unreasonable fees, but on the whole tenants have simply been paying for a service required in order to rent a property. The devil will be in the detail, but it would seem that this is the latest move to hit landlords who are now facing increased costs.
Looking at the different principle fees tenants currently pay, it's difficult to see how they are going to be charged and to justify why landlords should pick up the bill. For example, referencing fees. Tenants have to be referenced, but if they subsequently fail those checks, preventing the tenancy from going ahead, who pays that fee?
What about with inventory checks. How can you now expect the landlord to pay for the inventory at the beginning and end of a tenancy, it doesn't make sense. A tenant pays for it on the way in for their own peace of mind and the landlord once the tenancy has ended so that they can and they want to check everything is still there and in good condition.
This could have a real impact on the London rental market. UK and overseas landlords will not welcome this news and will look to recover their incurred costs elsewhere. Tenants may avoid a fee at the start of the tenancy, but there will be an unavoidable outcome of higher rents for them to pay."