Speaking in response to the announcement that a ban on lettings agents’ fees levied to tenants will now not be implemented before Spring 2019, at the earliest, James Davis, founder of online letting agent Upad.co.uk and himself a portfolio landlord, comments:
“Ever since the proposed ban on charging upfront fees to tenants was announced in the 2016 Autumn Statement, there’s been an air of ‘will they? won’t they?’, not to mention, the ‘when will they?’.
Whilst today’s announcement that it’s unlikely to be implemented before the Spring of 2019 provides a certain level of clarity, the fact remains that there are still many mixed messages around this move. Indeed, some within the industry still believe it’s likely to come in to effect before the end of this year.
Landlords, however, simply can’t afford to not be prepared for what lies ahead. In my experience, there’s a certain amount of ‘head in the sand’ mentality around the impact that this ban could have, both amongst letting agents and landlords.
Unfortunately, many headlines focus on how rents will increase once this legislation is implemented but the reality for landlords is that this needn’t be the case. Most private landlords don’t, in fact, charge excessive upfront costs and by simply taking the time now to consider how else they can manage their costs, they’ll be assured of being prepared for the fees ban, whether that happens, this year, next year or indeed at all. Needless to say, by switching to an online agent, such as Upad, significant savings can be enjoyed whilst maintain the reassurance of a quality service.”