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Claire  Empson
Claire Empson
Director
3461  Profile Views

About Me

I am a former martial artist, graphic designer and artworker, now a mother of two boys, landlord, Director of Daisy Lets & Sales and lover of Boxing Yoga! I'm a passionate environmentalist and supporter of equality in all aspects of life, particularly Women in Business. I run a support and networking group for mothers in business in South London and founded the ThinkBIG project which provides inspiration to young women/girls towards self employment and entrepreneurship on a local level.

my expertise in the industry

Landlord since 2005, agency owner since 2007.

Claire 's Recent Activity

Claire  Empson
The trouble is a letting agent would still have to spend time verifying the information - as it could be forged easily - so to take it on face value, having been handed it, would not be doing due diligence for our landlords.. and this takes time.. which someone has to cover. There is no reason as you say why tenants couldn't get referencing done by a third party themselves and pay for it directly, if say they went to the preferred referencing agency used by the letting agency however I think, but then the agent has no control over the timescale of this and will spend more time chasing the tenants to do it and the referencing agency I suspect. Also as agents, doing volumes of transactions on a monthly invoice, they get better rates than an individual tenant, so it may end up costing the tenant more - although I appreciate that would depend on the agency's mark up currently! I don't think spreading the fees over 6 months is the way to go - unless it's built into the rent being higher for 6 months, and the agency charges the landlord the fee instead up front. We haven't got the admin time spare to be chasing up everyone we've ever referenced over a previous 6 months - every month - for money if they don't pay it - as I suspect there will be a lot of tenants who don't pay up and will need chasing.. small agencies don't have direct debit facilities. It would be a full time job for someone to do this in a medium sized agency - it's not financially viable for the agent to take the hit and also employ someone extra who's not revenue making - it may work out better to not have charged the fee in the first place. It's interesting to hear some agents expect tenants to negotiate on fees.. as an agency who've always charged lower than most I haven't experienced this more than maybe twice - and I was quite baffled that they thought there was room for negotiation - so that explains it! If all agents just charged fair fees in the first place, advertised them and stuck to them, rather than operating like cowboys out for the most they can get so no one trusts their fee structure, the whole tenant fee ban would not have come about I'm sure. I'm annoyed its come to this and that some large greedy agencies (and some smaller less scrupulous ones I'm sure) have muddied the waters for the decent small businesses out there. I don't think the government will back down, they are after a crowd pleaser and after landlords, agencies are the next easy target. When I started out as a landlord 14 years ago everyone loved to hate an estate agent, lettings was ok, it was cool to be into property. Now we have less respect than the estate agents thanks to the bad apples and general negative propaganda and the government not thinking things through before actually gaining the advice of the industry. Morning rant over!

From: Claire Empson 02 February 2017 10:29 AM

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