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Landlords call for cap on letting agents' fees plus greater transparency

A survey has revealed that 59 per cent of London landlords support forcing letting agents to publish a breakdown of what their fees cover and 49 per cent support capping the fees charged by letting agents to tenants and landlords.

The same survey backs plans by London mayor Sadiq Khan to name those landlords bringing the private rented sector into disrepute are supported by a large majority of landlords in the capital.

The findings are based on one of the first surveys of landlords following the election of Khan as mayor. Compiled by the Residential Landlords Association, the survey finds that 75 per cent support publicly naming bad landlords.

With the mayor committed to developing new homes, 37 per cent of respondents said they would consider investing in new properties to rent if the London boroughs identified small plots of unused public sector land for the development of such housing.

“Landlords are ready and willing to work with the mayor to develop workable solutions to ensure the safe, legal and secure homes to rent we all want. The majority of landlords who provide decent housing and a good service to their tenants are fed up with the minority who provide sub-standard accommodation” says RLA policy director David Smith.

  • Mike Walker

    Here here. Keep it simple, transparent, and focus on providing great customer service service at the correct price.

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    Having some experience of letting agents the problem seems to be that different agents see the required standard of accommodation in different ways. I have one who thinks letting a property turn into a slum is fine and it is true that they can always find tenants. Usually they leave after six months so the tenant looses out and we have to pay to put a new tenant in place. Thus the tenant and the landlord loose out but the estate agent wins twice over - every six or eight months. Before you ask, I live close to this property so I can control what goes on to some extent.

    I have another agent who does their best, which is very good, to find decent tenants who stay a long while. This far more efficient for me as a landlord and when something is needed the tenant gets our best attention. Of course the letting agent no longer gets the fees every six months or so but I sure they are saving up pennies in heaven as my grand mother always insisted would be the case for good deeds on earth.

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    Perhaps it's rather impertinent to ask, but why don't you get rid of the letting agent who lets your property "turn into a slum" ?

     
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    Sod's law. While I was cleaning up from the last lot of incompetents along came a nice family of Polish people who the estate agent had booked in. I took top them immediately. Call me soft if you like.

    I had a Polish lady staying there some time ago. She was a wonderful tenant so here's hoping.....................

    That estate agent is firmly black marked.

     
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    Why would a landlord unhappy with fees charged by an agent not just move to another agent?

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    Sometimes a few pounds more on fees gets lots of pounds more in cost savings. I've been there.

     
  • Sceptical As Always

    Market forces. Why insist on fee control by law? Such already exists, it's called market forces. If an agent charges too much for a customer that customer will move on if they do not see value.

    To have everything for nothing is not in the spirit of a free market. You want better service, pay for it. If you want your Chelsea Penthouse advertised with rubbish iPhone photos call purplebricks. If you want professional photography and knowledgeable staff call a respected local agent. Just don't cry when they charge more... You get what you pay for in this life!

  • Kristjan Byfield

    Enforced transparency is essential but fee capping is not on- agents should be able to charge what they want as long as they are clearly stated, it is then a Landlords choice. Of course they support a fee cap- what response would you get if you surveyed tenants asking if they would like a rent cap?
    Fred- why on Earth are you using an agent that allows your property to turn in to a slum? If you are picking agents based on who charges you the lowest fees that is a recipe for disaster and, if this is the case, I would ensure that your property is fully compoiant with the latest regulations!
    Again, in many other contries, agents charge 5-10% in fees yet in the UK the average fee is around 1.3% how on Earth is this expensive? With UK property reported to have increased over 8% last year this is less than 25% of the annual growth for doing nothing more than earning the property.

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    See above but what you say is spot on.

     
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