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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Agent insists Fees Ban may have positive side-effects

A lettings agent and investment adviser says there is a positive interpretation of the fees ban introduced this month in England.

Abi Hookway, the managing director of property consultancy Touchstone Education, says: We have run an estate agency and a letting agency in Doncaster since 2016 only ever charging tenants a small admin fee of £50, so the impact on us will be negligible. The other side of our business is to advise people on investing in and managing properties and here we predict new opportunities as the changes take effect.”

She says that with landlords possibly feeling the squeeze from additional lettings agency fees in the light of the tenant ban, some will opt for rent-to-rent and innovative lease option.

“Many landlords will jump at the chance of having their properties managed over a five-year period, for example, with a guaranteed rental income and without the hassle of having to find new tenants, manage rent arrears, deal with disruptive tenants and all the other issues normally dealt with by agents” says Hookway.

There may even be an upside if landlords exit the private rental sector in larger volumes, because they may create an over-supply of buy to let units on sale - thus making them cheaper for future investors.

“In those circumstances, where landlords decide to sell up, investors can benefit from new properties becoming available for below market prices … A sudden flood of properties onto the market in those areas could be good news for bargain hunters” she insists.  

And she concludes: “The introduction of punitive regulations doesn’t always mean there will be less activity in the market; for those who think laterally such changes can create new commercial opportunities and all you need to do is take them.”

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