Should I be looking to change to a cheaper agent?
04 Apr 2019
Being a landlord feels a little unfair at the moment doesn’t it? The last three years have seen you take hit after hit – from tightening compliance and legislation requiring you to do more than ever to maintain the standard of your property, to your tax relief being reduced slowly but surely, to the upcoming tenant fee ban, which will inevitably end up hitting the pockets of the average landlord. With whispers of compulsory three year tenancies on the horizon – you’ve just about had enough. Where is the upside?
Honestly – we feel your pain. This isn’t an easy market, but it isn’t all doom and gloom and what we’d like to offer to landlords is some light at the end of the tunnel.
If you are with a qualified, reputable agent – then the above should firstly be no surprise to you. ARLA and Propertymark are the governing body for letting agents in England and Wales, and whilst it is not compulsory to be a member we’d like to think volunteering to hold yourself to a higher level of training, of education and of competency sets us apart from the rest. ARLA-qualified agents have for years been practising what is now being brought into legislation, so the introduction of electrical safety inspections, for example, shouldn’t be just another cost to add to the list, it should be a valid safety requirement already being practiced. Client money protection, again a new law affecting letting agents – won’t affect ARLA-qualified agents who have always had to have this in place. The tenant fee ban is likely to diminish profits for those agents propped up on overinflated, unjustified tenant fees, but this shouldn’t apply to most reputable ARLA agents.
If you aren’t sure how your agent is planning to make up the loss felt in the Tenant Fee Ban – then ask them! Because the chances are, the cost is going to be passed on to you – whether in a fee increase, an additional admin fee being charged...it will be in there somewhere!
Now is not the time to cut corners, and scrimp 1% here or there on a better agency fee. That saving could pale in comparison to the cost of breaching any one of the 125+ pieces of legislation that could apply to you when letting your property. So please ensure that with whoever you are choosing:
- They are ARLA-qualified. This means they will be the most educated, the most invested in training and the most transparent when it comes to protecting you and your investment.
- They are working smart to help your investment work for you.
- That they have a plan in place for The Tenant Fees Act 2019 – and whether this will have an affect on you.