Well, its arrived, the admin fee ban is now law and we are seeing what changes there are in the market and how it will affect both tenants and Landlords and us the agents.
Now we all know that agents fees in Eastbourne ranged from reasonable to downright disgusting and her in lies the problem. With the fee ban in place and the fact that agents must refund all holding fees, how does the agent secure the property for the Landlord and the tenant with no penalty should it fall through??
Secondly, does the agent continue marketing the property until the tenant has completed the referencing and handed over the rent and the DPS deposit? It all makes the whole process fraught with danger and muddies the waters in terms of letting properties. It is something that we will see develop over the coming months.
HOWEVER, one thing is for sure, other agents will now be looking at their loss of income and how they will plug the gap. Do they reduce staff, reduce services, close shops and become internet based or charge Landlords more?
Obviously, agents will have no choice to put up rents where required and this will be keenly monitored going forward with rent reviews being competed with military precision. The other source of revenue will be to charge interest on late payment of rent, out of hours call charges, charges for supplying keys and the list goes on.
So to summarise, beware of what may be lurking out there. Agents cannot charge admin fees, they have to return holding deposits in full even if you pull out. Landlords, make sure that there are no hidden charges and always ask upfront for what you are being charged for and ask for a complete list of charges when asking an agent to manage your property.
Please do not hesitate to contact Iain or Peter who will be happy to discuss any of the above.