The highly-anticipated Tenant Fees Bill 2019 will come into force on 1st June this year, promising a wholesale shakeup in the lettings market. Trend-setting estate agency, Humberts, is ahead of the game once again.
Since launching lettings 18 months ago, Humberts have never charged administration fees to prospective tenants, allowing completely transparent transactions for both landlord and tenant. This also means Humberts will not be affected by the prospective Tenant Fees Bill, which will put financial pressure on many other agencies. On the contrary, it looks forward to continuing to grow the lettings arm of the company from strength to strength, evident already from the 23% uplift in lettings in the last five months alone.
Humberts Letting Manager, Lorna Wyatt says “Humberts’ lettings have had an extremely busy month with many properties letting on the first viewing and some achieving higher than the asking price, no doubt as a direct result of no administration fees for the tenants to pay. With an excellent reputation and property consultants based across a number of regions, we are best placed to let property. We also tailor our service to meet the specific needs of each individual landlord, unlike the traditional services.”
The tenant fees charged by lettings agents have made moving into rented accommodation increasingly pricey and stressful. Fees generally vary between £200-£500 from agent to agent, but there is so often a long additional list of ‘hidden’ charges for various parts of the service. These fees put the ability to rent entirely out of range for some – often the most needy – renters.
The new Tenant Bill moves to ban all tenant fees and cap deposits at just 5 weeks rent – though concerns have been raised that lettings agencies may seek to maintain their incomes by passing on fees to landlords – in turn putting upward pressure on rents themselves. Furthermore, pet owners may begin to struggle to find accommodation if the cap on deposits convinces landlords that accepting a pet is a financial risk too far.
Humberts believes that the Act could have a significant effect on the sector – both for good and ill. In common with agencies across the nation, they await the detail of the final Bill, and in a positive position, whatever the outcome.