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Tenant Fees Act ‘may already be causing more tenants to move’

Data from rental insurance firm HomeLet suggests that the Tenant Fees Act may already be causing more movement amongst tenants.

The firm says that the average duration of a tenancy has reduced to 30.7 months, from 32.1 months in May. 

HomeLet chief executive Martin Totty notes: “Whilst this isn’t a significant reduction, the drop does coincide with the introduction of the Tenants Fee Act in England and could be a very early indication of more mobility amongst tenants. It will be interesting to observe what prices do throughout the whole country in the coming months.”


The firm’s latest rental snapshot at the end of June suggests that average rent in the UK is now £941, up by 1.8 per cent on the same time last year.

The region with the largest year-on-year increase is Northern Ireland, showing a 4.7 per cent increase on the same time last year.

Average rents in London are now £1,611, up by 0.9 per cent on last year; meanwhile all 12 of the regions monitored by HomeLet showed an increase in rental values between June 2018 and June 2019.

Martin Totty adds: “Since the beginning of the year we have observed a gradual decline in the year-on-year variations in London rents, which reflects what is also being observed in the London housing market thus far in 2019.

“What is most striking about the latest data is the consistency of rental prices we are seeing across the whole UK, with all regions recording a continued year-on-year increase. This is a continuation of the theme we’ve been seeing since mid-2017 as rents have continued to edge up.”

  • Angus Shield

    Well what a surprise - not!
    I have always maintained that the no-fee Act would create a spiralling knock-on effect.
    As applicants have no 'stake' or ‘risk’ in the application process, and a reduced deposit payment multiplier, they are not unsurprisingly released from the cost of application and therefore have the freedom of choice to move whereas before the costs may have focused their ‘need’ rather than ’whim’ (and I say that respectfully).
    In the last 41 days since the Act came into effect, we have had two tenancy applications did not complete to the point of signed TA’s and keys issued, despite both LL's having incurred potential costs in referencing, house preparation and inventory; presently those cost lay with this firm.
    The galling fact is that one of the applications required a huge amount of effort to obtain the references, and with the other we burned favours with a number of other parties to ensure the property would be ready for them (a mild refurbishment), as their time line was critical.
    I strongly believe that there should still be a reasonable non-refundable application charge should an application not result in a signed tenancy. If it does result in a signed tenancy, then that charge is paid into the hand-over monies and the applicant is not penalised.
    Solicitors and many on-line estate agents will still receive a fee for their toils in the event of an unsuccessful undertaking; why are we different as we are undertaking a conveyance also?


    Oh dear Angus, you have forever ruined your chances of becoming Housing minister for it is a prerequisite for any applicant to have absolutely no idea how the PRS operates.

  • jeremy clarke

    We along with many others have seen an increase in applications.
    The quality of applications is certainly poorer and if it wasn't for a quite detailed pre-viewing questionnaire that we send out we would be wasting hours! Incidentally only about 50% of applicants return the pre-viewing questionnaire which says to me that the other 50% would not pass simple checks!


    I do the same, I take no action whatsoever until the completed form - complete in all aspects - is returned to me. I have an 80% failure rate.

  • icon

    Ill thought through legislation, no regard to consequences. A simple cap at a reasonable level would have worked better. Mad house stuff this.

    • 11 July 2019 17:25 PM

    It does appear that the lunatics have taken over the Asylum!!

  • icon

    You could put in your terms if application asking if any applicants have applied to rent other properties; if they say no, and lie, then surely you could keep their deposit?


    Ingenious, I will add this to my application document.


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