Eurolink is calling on letting agents to respond to the government’s consultation on its proposed tenant fee ban.
Nigel Poole, managing director of the leading property software services provider, says: “We welcome the launch of the long-awaited consultation and call on letting agents across the country to respond.
“It’s time that reputable, regulated agents communicate the extensive work that they undertake on behalf of both landlords and tenants and the way in which they charge fairly to reflect this.
“As with any business, agents have to build in to their fees a whole host of expenses relating to obvious items such as office space and staffing.
“But they also need to build in less obvious costs relating to the qualifications, professional body membership and government legislation required to offer tenants and landlords the professional service that is being demanded from them.
“It is completely unacceptable to expect agents to work for either party for free.
“This is why I’m telling clients: ‘don’t be shy in coming forward and communicating your worth. Now is the time to speak out’.”
The ban, which Chancellor Philip Hammond announced in his inaugural Autumn Statement in November, is being driven by the government’s belief that some agents are acting in their own interests, which may be contrary to the interests of tenants and landlords.
The government also believes that some letting agents exploit their role as an intermediary between tenants and landlords by imposing unfair charges on a tenant, or by double charging tenants and landlords for the same service.
The consultation cites Department for Communities and Local Government market research into the fees charged by letting agents for the main services they provide during the letting process, which found that fees range £120 to £300 (see below).
The 24 questions in the consultation range from asking whether or not respondents think that the transparency measures introduced in the Consumer Rights Act 2015 have helped to drive up standards and improve competition, to requesting a breakdown of the services that respondents offer landlords and their corresponding fees.
The consultation, entitled Banning letting agent fees paid by tenants relates only to England, and will last for eight weeks until 2 June 2017.
Click here to respond to the online survey, or email your responses to the questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org