The wait is over, and it now appears that the date for the introduction of the Tenant Fee Ban will be June 1 this year. Given it was first announced back in 2016, it certainly feels like it’s been a very long time coming.
The fact that this legislation was introduced in the first place should come as little surprise. Our own research has previously demonstrated that letting agents’ fees are one of the biggest causes of complaints by tenants. Indeed, high admin fees were ranked as the number one gripe amongst tenants and almost 10% said they’d had to pay more than £400, whilst 12% described the service they received from their high street letting agent as being “terrible”.
This hasn’t just been bad for tenants, it’s annoying for landlords too as it gets the tenancy off to a bad start. Historically, if a tenant feels ripped off, they aren’t going to feel well disposed towards their landlord, even if it isn’t their fault.
That should all change when the ban comes in to effect in a little under five months. However, ever since the ban was first announced, headlines have focused on the threat that rents will rise, putting additional pressure on tenants and continuing to paint the landlord as the ‘bad guy’.
This doesn’t need to be the case. Most private landlords don’t, in fact, charge excessive upfront costs and whilst it would have been advisable to plan before now, there’s still time to consider how else they can manage their costs.
Here at Upad, we focus on providing services that are tailored to meet the needs of landlords and invest both knowledge and technology to ensure that are provided with the means to best manage their rental finances in an increasingly competitive marketplace, whilst guaranteeing that the needs of their tenants are also met.
Importantly, we already don’t charge tenants any admin fees and nothing for the tenancy agreement and unlike when they find a property through a high street agent, tenants don’t pay Upad any renewal fees if they stay in their accommodation once their initial contract ends.
We know that this is an approach that works as we continue to see more and more savvy landlords make the decision to use our services. But for those landlords who have continued to take a ‘bury head in sand’ approach thus far, they do need to now act quickly and review how they best manage their costs so that neither themselves or their tenants lose out in anyway once June 1 comes.