The head of an online lettings agency says tenants are now left confused by what she calls “ill thought-out policy changes” to the private rental sector.
Alexandra Morris, managing director of MakeUrMove, says letting agents have a duty to educate both tenants and landlords about their rights and responsibilities, but this is made much more complex by ever-changing regulations.
“The impact of new regulations and lack of understanding of tenant rights is also making life much harder for landlords, particularly accidental and smaller landlords that make up a large proportion of the sector. They regularly have to seek advice when they, and their tenants, don’t understand requirements, and they are being forced to pass on their increased costs to tenants through rent rises” she claims.
Morris says a survey for her firm suggests some 53 per cent of private tenants don’t actually understand their rights or the new laws the government has brought in to help them, while as many as 85 per cent of tenants don’t understand the upcoming tenant fees ban, despite widespread publicity.
The survey also revealed that 64 per cent of tenants don’t understand the costs they have to pay for referencing checks, and 41 per cent said they don’t understand the Deposit Protection Scheme.
“The UK is experiencing market failure in housing and because of a rush to try to fix it, with piecemeal and ill-thought-out policy changes rather than a whole of market strategy, tenants have been left confused and bearing the brunt of the impact. The private rental process needs simplifying and professionalising so it works for everyone, and to ensure both tenants and landlords understand their roles and responsibilities.”