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Angus Shield
Angus Shield
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Angus Shield
The email link just rejected my written view with: : host mxb.speednames.com[185.26.230.90] said: 550 We don't handle mail for parliament.co.uk (in reply to RCPT TO command). This was my Written view: Dear Sir My credential is that I again own an independent Letting Agent (in its 5th year) and previously an Equity Partner in a multi-office independent Letting Agent; a total of nearly 20 years now. Our area of trading is the SP1 -5 (Salisbury & South Wiltshire which is very ‘MOD’) and SE London. Many of our Landlords are ex-services, diplomatic and Civil Service with many independent traders also. Our Tenant base is largely scientific (Porton Down), medical and educational. 1. To remove the ability for Letting Agents to receive a reasonable fee for the services they provide would be foolish. • As Agents we perform a semi para-legal service in creating a legally binding contract under the Housing Act; it is a conveyance. Nobody would expect an estate agent or solicitor to undertake the same for no charge. • We ensure that the accommodation complies with Prevailing Regulations (gas, electricity, EPC, minimum standard, HMO, etc). Nobody would expect a surveyor to undertake the same for no charge. • We also undertake VAT returns, Overseas Landlords tax administration and now swamped with GDPR. Nobody would expect a book-keeper or auditing accountant to undertake this for no charge. • This takes considerable resources and requires funding from our own rewards for effort. With staff, rents & insurances already consuming much of the Landlords fees received. 2. To apply a moderating, prescriptive legislation would be wise. • I am personally aggrieved that some agents do profit unreasonably from Tenant Fees and that some larger agents are so reliant on Tenant Fees that is would strategically effect their business operational/model. I am also aggrieved that some Franchisees/Principles/Proprietors can also ‘disappear’ with client funds. Many who have commented within the forums (such as Estate Agent Today), call for compulsory licencing or levels of acceptable and appropriate fees (such as a maximum percentage of turnover?). Licencing should be linked to Client Money Protection (similar to car MOT = Motor Insurance). 3. In conversations with both Landlords and Tenants our parochial view is: • Tenants expect to pay reasonable fees for the service they receive – its business. They do not expect to compromise their own paid time/holiday to sort out their move beyond the physical event. They expect correct and accurate documents to represent and protect their contractual position and offer recourse. • We are increasingly being asked, by applicants, ‘will our rent go up or can we still pay a fee’? • Our average tenant fee is £500 incl VAT (per tenancy and not per person) and a once only, up front charge; nothing to renew or end their contract. • Our Landlords are concerned about the shift in ‘lost’ fee income onto them; it would be directly proportion to tenancy creations. • I would expect a rent increase of between 12-15% for local agents to recover their fees through landlords commission payments received from rents. • If the Deposit Schemes were to be consulted; assess what are the ‘usual’ deposit deductions they allow to claimed by agents/landlords. Consider these within permissible fees as any tenant would have the right to challenge these through the arbitration process. This would be the actual evidence of what agents/landlords often have to charge a tenant at the end of a tenancy such as cleaning, small dilapidations, rent short-fall, etc. This is self-evidential and available from a previously enforced scheme. As a small business we DO NOT budget on Tenant Fee income as it can only be an approximation of future tenant activity; however we use these funds to develop the business through training & subscriptions and updating technology, working environment, etc. We hold Pi & PL Liability insurances, Property Ombudsman membership, Client Money Protection and Custodial Deposit Protection (The DPS). As agents we are no different to any other business receiving an income for their services offered. Please do not take this away from us as we are not centrally funded (from our tax money generated through our business/employment activities), whereas many of the ‘objectors’ are.

From: Angus Shield 24 May 2018 11:24 AM

Angus Shield

From: Angus Shield 02 November 2017 08:43 AM

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