Ripoff agency fees should not be banned.

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    Ripoff agency fees should not be banned.

    The following article says ripoff agent fees paid by tenants should be banned:

    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/ab...tizens-advice/

    I do not agree. There is no need to ban fees. Tenants have a free choice whether or not to pay agency fees.

    Many enjoy the service provided by an agent and are happy to pay £100's of fees. If they do not want to pay the fees, many landlords will be happy to rent directly to them and usually at a lower rent than through an agent.

    If agent's fees were banned, there would be even less motivation for tenant to go through the unsavoury experience of renting direct from a landlord. Private landlords would be forced to use the services of an agent and would have to increase rent accordingly.

    If the fees were not seen as good value for money, agents would go out of business.

    #2
    The ONLY fee I paid was £ 50 credit check, and that's ALL anyone should pay.
    Yes I know they cost as little as £5 / £ 10

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by bureaucrazy View Post
      If the fees were not seen as good value for money, agents would go out of business.
      Agents do go out of business all the time, new ones spring-up like weeds. People are also taken-in by a high street presence. People do seem to think it is an unsavoury experience renting directly from a Landlord, you're right. It is a strange one, that people detest the Agents and their fees, but seem to prefer to go via them when renting a property. Prospective Tenants often seem to be under the impression the Agent is working for them and / or is on their side - Agents laugh (to me) about this misguided perception because, obviously, nothing could be further from the truth. The Agent has the Landlord's interests somewhere in their mind, not at the forefront, somewhere at the back... at the forefront of their mind is their own interests.

      Comment


        #4
        Tenants do not enjoy paying agents fees.

        Most people I speak to are fairly OK with paying fees for "help" in finding a property and being credit checked and signed up.
        Those fees are headlined when you go into a letting agent and sign up.

        People feel they're getting a service and are (broadly) OK about paying for it - although they complain about the level of the cost as we all do.
        People do seem to prefer to rent from agents - I think the physical "shop" is a big draw, as is the number of properties and local knowledge available.
        Landlords are usually selling one property and work from home, and we don't have the best reputation in the world.

        People don't like the then unavoidable follow on fees that are usually in the small print.
        Fees to check out, fees for changes to contracts, fees to administer a new contract, fees to "administer" tenancies going periodic.

        Those charges are the one's people hate.

        I think it's inevitable that agents fees will be switched to be charged to the landlord, it seems to work fine in Scotland,
        and it will mean that landlords have to contract properly with agents, which is no bad thing.
        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

        Comment


          #5
          The original post has to be a wind up....but for the record renting from me as a LL is not an "unsavoury experience" - the most unsavoury experiences imaginable are at the hands of letting agents (for both LLs and tenants in my experience!)
          Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by islandgirl View Post
            The original post has to be a wind up....but for the record renting from me as a LL is not an "unsavoury experience" - the most unsavoury experiences imaginable are at the hands of letting agents (for both LLs and tenants in my experience!)
            It's slightly sarcastic but not a wind up. I think that the tenant's expectations are such that they prefer to avoid dealing with a landlord direct because they erroneously believe the agent with the flash office, is responsible for the house after it is let and the agent will make sure their rights are protected. Ironically, they end up with a landlord they have never met or had a chance to judge whether or not they are unsavoury.

            They do enjoy the "brown-nosing" they get from an agent. Most now offer a free pick up and drop off with free refreshments, etc. It's a very expensive taxi service but many tenants do not want the bother of looking for a house themselves.

            It frustrates me that campaign groups moan about 'unfair' fees being 'forced' on tenants, when tenants are free to choose.

            Campaign groups constantly warn tenants not to trust private landlords but it would be better to advise tenants to look for a private landlord who is licensed or a member of an accreditation scheme and save their money.

            If fees are banned, it will be much harder for private landlords to go it alone and more will be pushed into using an agent. The extra costs will be passed on to the tenant who will not have much choice but to put up with it.

            Comment


              #7
              I have to say that the previous post is probably the most inaccurate and amusing one I have ever read. I reiterate, it must b a wind up! Unsavoury LLs....hilarious!
              Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

              Comment


                #8
                I don't have any figures, but my guess is that most private landlords, most of whom have a single property, use an agent.
                Most landlords aren't professional and don't know what they're doing.
                I'll admit that most agents aren't expert either, but most know more than most landlords (this forum containing many exceptions).

                Professional agents are now required to join a professional body with a published set of best practices and a redress system.
                The codes of practice all seem to require all fees to be clearly listed to prospective tenants - my own agents fees were quite illuminating the first time I saw them clearly listed.
                Most agents still don't do this.

                Tenants may be, technically, free to choose, but because most prefer to business with an agent (or even think that they have to because they think the agent is who they're renting from), that choice is illusory.

                What happened in Scotland is informative, fees were abolished and rents didn't go up much.
                When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                Comment


                  #9
                  I totally disagree. I have used agents who did not have a clue, who put tenants into my property without my knowledge and contrary to my written instructions. Agents do not, I believe, have to join a professional body. I do not believe most tenants think that the agents own the property as the clue is in the name! We will certainly have to agree to disagree on that one!
                  Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Here's details of the code of practice/redress scheme requirement http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_ad...edress_schemes

                    I have come across many agents who have less clue than they should.
                    Same with landlords.

                    You'd be surprised how many of my tenants are surprised I exist when they see the tenancy agreement (I work pretty much exclusively through agents).
                    Part of this is caused by the practice of many agents using their own details on tenancy agreements - particularly contact addresses.

                    In 2010, 43% of all landlords used agents. I'd guess that figure is higher now.

                    Happy to agree to differ, it's a big world after all.
                    8-)
                    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      The fees differ significantly though, as do the reasons for charges. I run an independent agency in Manchester, we do charge an initial application fee, but do not charge any other fees. The national agents typically charge renewal fees (circa £100), checkout fees (circa £50-£100), providing a reference to their future agent/landlord (circa £25-£50), that's really just the tip of the iceberg. I'm all for outlawing hidden fees, however referencing/application fees are there to cover certain costs in the initial stages, removing these will lead to an increase in the landlord's fees, and thus rent increases. A service is being provided on both sides, not just the landlord's, so do believe tenants should share some of the cost. A cap on the fees would be a more sensible move forward.

                      Are you happy paying mortgage application fees, redemption penalties etc? They should certainly be capped/outlawed.
                      <a href="http://www.manchesterpropertygroup.co.uk/" target="_blank">Manchester letting agents</a>

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by jpkeates View Post

                        Happy to agree to differ, it's a big world after all.
                        8-)
                        If only everyone thought like us the world would not be in such a mess!
                        Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by jrsteeve View Post
                          Are you happy paying mortgage application fees, redemption penalties etc? They should certainly be capped/outlawed.
                          To be honest, "happy" isn't really the right word.
                          I understand that people need to make money from the work that they do, so I don't expect anything to be free.
                          I'd like things I buy to be at a reasonable cost to me and everyone likes a bargain.

                          It does annoy me paying high fees to companies who make excessive profits.
                          It does annoy me having to work out the cost of a funding arrangement over "x" years myself by working out the different fees applicable - is the £2k setup fee that costs £100 less per month a better deal than the £1k setup fee where the rate is only fixed for 2 years etc (it's like trying to compare power company tariffs). So the complexity bothers me more than the fees. A broker or lender would argue that the flexibility is useful, but it's so often a no brainer that it adds no value to me.

                          My only issue with removing "agents" charges altogether is that if a prospective tenant has no skin in the game, they can simply waste everyone's time. A tenant with little hope of passing a basic credit check might as well sign up with x different agencies for x different properties in the hope that something comes up - in the meantime, "x" people waster lots of money on pointless credit checks that wouldn't have happened if the tenant had to pay for them themselves.

                          Agents need to make a living as well - if they switch to charging landlords for the service, my rents will go up and most of my competitors won't (because most landlords are single property renters who listen to what the agent tells them the property will rent at - which is usually the rate that will rent with least effort for the agent).
                          When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                          Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I haven't heard of a detailed analysis of the effects of stopping tenant fees in Scotland.
                            But if tenant fees are outlawed just saying rents wont increase that much is only half the story. What will happen is service by the agents will be reduced, their budgets for training will be reduced and quality of service must suffer for the smaller agents with up to a 100 properties on their books which effects both tenant and landlords.

                            You will also get some tenants applying for multiple properties with numerous agents at the same time without any commitment (paying a ref fee)

                            Any extra fees passed on to the landlord will squeeze many (small) landlords out of the industry which has the knock on effect of reducing available housing stock and effecting tenants further.

                            I can see some agents just charging the guarantor a large fee if they cant charge the tenant and if that was allowed the tenant would be the one who is still likely to have to pay it. The industry will just evolve and other ways to charge the tenants will materialise.

                            I think the sensible approach is to just put a cap on the max that can be charged

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Even without a detailed analysis, the rental market in Scotland continues to function.

                              Agents "training" lol.

                              Small landlords need to be squeezed out of the market long term and replaced by professional investors and service providers.
                              You can't have such a large proportion of the housing stock in the hands of people who you cannot be sure know what they are doing and offering such variable levels of service.
                              When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                              Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                              Comment

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