Fee ban is “robing from Peter to pay Paul”
The ban on lettings agent fees to tenants is “robbing from Peter to pay Paul”, according to James Davis CEO and founder of national online lettings agency Upad.
As expected the Chancellor announced a ban on fees in the Autumn Statement earlier today.
Banning the fees he said: “In the private rental market, letting agents are currently able to charge unregulated fees to tenants.
“We have seen these fees spiral, often to hundreds of pounds.
“This is wrong. Landlords appoint letting agents and landlords should meet their fees.”
But Davis warned that whilst the government needed to intervene it is likely to cause rent rises.
He said: “The government has needed to have a role to play in this important issue for some time. However, ultimately it is case of robbing Peter to pay Paul, as this cost will get passed onto landlords and consequently tenants through rent rises.
“Rents in Edinburgh went up 8% in the year after tenant fees were abolished (way over the growth of UK rents that year) and the same will now happen in England.
“This will only make matters worse for tenants who in some cases are already paying up to two thirds of their salary on rent. Unfortunately, the people making these decisions, don’t seem to understand the dynamics of the lettings market and the effect that this will have – both Theresa May and Philip Hammond have themselves previously voted against a ban on fees!”