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ARLA wants agents to lobby MPs in campaign against fees ban

The Association of Residential Letting Agents has taken the unusual step of making a fact sheet available to all agents, not just to members, as part of its campaign opposing the ban on fees levied on tenants.

The government revealed its draft of the Tenants’ Fees Bill last week - Letting Agent Today covered it here - and ARLA has now launched a campaign urging its members to lobby MPs.

The factsheet, which explains the campaign, sets out a summary of the Bill and advises agents on the points to make to their MPs.

It also includes a template of a letter to MPs and suggests points to make in public debates and local press letters on the subject of the banning of letting agents’ fees.

ARLA Propertymark believes that tenants should meet the costs genuinely incurred on their behalf. It says referencing checks, including mandatory Right to Rent checks which are required by law, are essential in supporting tenants to commit to rent at a sustainable level and avoid taking on financial burdens they cannot meet.

You can see details of the ARLA campaign and factsheet on the association's website, here.

Poll: What's your view on lobbying MPs and arguing against the letting agents' fees ban?

PLACE YOUR VOTE BELOW

  • Neil Moores

    It is fine to lobby but there is no point in arguing about totally lost causes. That just creates a situation where achievable aims get lost in the mix. There are fees which, if banned, will cause hardship to tenants. These include agents' charges for handling the referencing and vetting of replacements in a group tenancy and charges for administration when a tenant asks to be released early from their tenancy agreement. In these cases, if no-one is going to cover the costs of the tenants' requests then the requests will be turned down and the tenants will find themselves out of pocket, with people having to remain on tenancy agreements well after circumstances have dictated that they need to move elsewhere. it is imperative that these fees can remain. if they are passed to landlords then the landlord's answer to such requests will always be "NO".

  • Alexis Addison

    I have written to the PM and various MP's, i have had one reply from Kevin Hollinrake MP. Having spoken to various people and read anything which comes across my desk i am fairly sure it will make no difference what Agents do or say. It is a devastating blow to agencies, we will suffer hugely and so will tenants, this is a major concern and i can see it going full circle and being re-introduced in 5 or so years when the governments realise what they have done and tenants understand the ramifications of this bill. How are we supposed to continue to do our jobs in the best interests of all concerned with no obligation to tenants, but still having to make sure they are fully referenced and right to rent checked?
    Tenants will suffer and the lower income tenants whom this bill is supposed to protect will suffer most. Madness a cap would have been the best way forward for all concerned.

  • Robert Ulph

    I think this article is trying to say Agents should write to their MP's to stop this. In fact its to inform them what the situation will be if the full ban comes in. We understand its going to happen but there is a lot of work to do to make it law so we just need to try and shape it, so it will work for all. A cap would of worked but no one in government even gave this a passing thought. I can see that as a company we will re-structure to work with the ban and tenants I am afraid will suffer with a lot higher rents and I fear most agents will not give tenants ANY service what so ever, this will include online Agents. Tenant will be hit with massive late payment bills as well if they are even one day late with their rent as this will still be allowed. We have never sought to charge this up to now but will in the future I am afraid as will most of the agents I have spoken to. It will hit the struggling tenants the worst because of it and more homelessness will be the next problem. All on top of a government who has penalised the small investor and is massively shy on the need to build more properties. Even if the target is hit which it will not, I can see in 5 years time twice as many homeless families as now and than they might decide to do a U-turn but will it be too late.

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    The right to charge late payment fees must be stipulated in the tenancy agreement giving details of the amount charged and when it become payable. Usually this is 14 days after the due date. Therefore charging "Massive Late Payment Bills" is totally unlawful and unenforceable. Additionally any attempt to charge excessive amounts may not be enforceable as it is likely to be deemed an "Unfair Clause".

    Who wants their Agency to have a reputation for charging excessive amounts for late payments.

     
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    I welcome this campaign but it come late now the Government seem set on implementing a ban. A cap would have solved the problem they think exists. In reality the problem was only, or mostly, only ever in London. The majority of agents and self-managing landlords only charge their reasonable costs for work done. Why shouldn't we be paid for that? A monetary or percentage limit on what can be charged in fees would be far more sensible. Smaller agencies will struggle to cover expenses incurred in setting up new tenancies. Staff may be lost as a consequence. We will be much stricter with tenants- we will likely no longer consider a shorter than 6 month tenancy which many tenants request (for instance for tenants between house purchases or when relocating new to area one partner travels ahead of family while searching for home). Rent will definitely increase. Incidentally many of our tenants have their own house elsewhere those people are not a vulnerable group needing "protecting", they expect to pay for the service we offer!

  • jeremy clarke

    I drafted a letter which about 80 of my landlords signed, each letter was personal from landlord to their own MPS. All in all approximately 35 different MPS , of those MPS who bothered to reply, 16 in total the letter that they sent to my landlords was exactly the same letter. Just proves to me that government have no interest in listening.

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    Please will you all close the stable door quietly.........................

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