What Does The Autumn Statement Mean For Tenants?

Sat 03 Dec 2016

 

Following the news in the recent Autumn Statement that letting agent fees to Tenants are to be scrapped, many Tenants have rejoiced. Some agents have been known to charge exorbitant fees, for what seems like not much effort, and fees can vary wildly from one agent to another. But how will this affect Tenants?

It was to prevent unscrupulous letting agents charging unfair Tenant fees that the government decided bring about this legislation, something that many Tenants have voiced concerns over for some time. We acknowledge that some agents are charging far too much for particular services, and adding on services that are not essential, not required, and in some cases not even wanted by Landlord or Tenant. But what will this mean for the future?

From a Tenant’s point of view, no agent fees sounds great. But from a Landlord’s point of view, their business investment could potentially be less profitable, or could land them in trouble should they choose to forgo the agent altogether and fail to meet the extensive legislation already in place to protect both Tenants and Landlords. Once the new legislation comes in, which the Department for Communities and Local Government suggest may not be implemented until 2018, we would advise Tenants to shop around for a new property, as some Landlords are likely to try to recover some of the agents’ costs by increasing the rent on their property.

Also, Tenants should be aware of Landlords who are trying to cut out the agent entirely in order to avoid fees. They may be inexperienced in lettings legislation and unclear of what they are legally required to do. We would advise any prospective Tenants to carefully check a tenancy agreement before signing it, and seek legal advice before signing if you are unsure. Always ask for a copy of the tenancy agreement in advance so you have ample time to read this at your leisure and can seek professional clarification, should you require it.

By scrapping the letting agent’s fees to Tenants, hopefully it will become easier for Tenants to save for a deposit, and therefore get onto the property ladder themselves. And further down the line, perhaps these same Tenants will become Landlords themselves.