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Letting Agents Fees

Posted by Paul Quirk on 13th August 2016
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Updated 22nd December 2016

The government has recently announced that all Tenant Fees will be banned outright. We hope that the government will follow a thorough consultation process before bringing this measure in,. Our feeling is that a fee cap is a more suitable measure. Most letting agencies throughout England and Wales do make a legitimate charge for administration of new tenancies, however a minority of agencies charge their tenants (and often landlords) way over the odds for the amount of work that they do. Sadly, as is often seen in all walks of life, the actions of a few have ruined it for the many…

The post below was written before the fee ban was announced:

Article written 13th August 2016 (before the announcement of the ban)

Keys Lettings Centre is proud to offer the excellent value for tenants and landlords – although not all letting agents have the same standards.

You may be surprised to see some of the fees that two well established national letting franchises have hidden in the small print.

Tenants! You can look forward to fees for the following:

  • Tenancy application
  • Referencing
  • Guarantor referencing
  • Credit check
  • Tenancy amendments
  • Tenancy renewals
  • Check-in
  • Check-out
  • Late rent payments
  • Returning overpaid rent

And Landlords! You can look forward to additional charges for all of the items below:

  • Basic property management plus the cost of the initial letting
  • Tenancy renewal administration
  • Check-ins
  • Check-outs
  • Issuing legal notices
  • Cutting keys (in addition to the cost of the key)
  • Photocopying legal documents
  • Changing a lightbulb (that’s right)

And let’s not forget that many letting agencies also charge the Landlord a “handling fee” for processing property maintenance invoices. Be warned – sometimes this is disguised as a commission deducted from a Contractor’s invoice that the Landlord is not told about!

Is it any wonder that there has been a recent backlash against letting agents fees?

piggy-bank

Excessive fees for Landlords and Tenants bring the entire industry into disrepute. Here at Keys Letting Centre we prefer not to be tarred with the same brush.

We have a very simple and basic fee structure, and we are proud not to have increased our Landlord or Tenant fees for many years. Our focus is on providing the best service we can.

When it comes to application fees, our philosophy is to make a modest charge for the legitimate service that we provide. Accordingly, we have some of the lowest Tenancy Application fees in Ulverston, Furness and South Lakes, AND our fees are 100% refundable if a tenant is unsuccessful.

If we need to visit a Tenant to help replace a light bulb then we will gladly do so – and you can be certain you will not receive a bill for it! It’s just part of our job.

Our thoughts? We are in no doubt that the government will look to introduce regulation for letting agents fees as a result of greedy industry practices. An outright ban in Tenants fees will ultimately result in an increase in monthly rental figures, which will just circle back around to the tenant – this is surely not the way to go – instead, we would encourage a realistic cap on letting agents fees. In our opinion, this will cut out the excessive fee culture, while still allowing the UK lettings industry to flourish.

Are you a landlord or tenant that would like to know more about out letting fees? Get in touch with Keys Letting Centre today.

 

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