The government recently announced that it was to ban unfair letting fees in a measure designed to stop hidden charges and to end tenants being hit by costly upfront payments.
DBPR asked Tim Hassell, MD of London lettings specialists Draker Lettings to comment on the removal of letting fees and what it will mean for agents and tenants.
“At Draker we strive to be as customer focused as we possibly can be and welcome any changes that may furt
her enhance our relationships with our landlords and tenants on our landlord’s behalf. However, tenant fees have been an established revenue stream for estate agents for decades, and there will be a painful period of adjustment for all involved in the lettings business, including tenants in the long run.
I would have liked a more considered approach that would be seen fair by all sides of the letting industry. There are agencies that certainly need reigning in, but there are also agencies that I believe charge a fair amount for their time and expertise. An outright ban may force many less profitable companies ‘underground’ with their charges which will inevitably be passed onto both landlords and tenants in other ways. This is something that as a lettings only agency, we absolutely do not want to do.
We also have a government that is determined not to listen to proper counsel in this matter with most of the advice from property professionals being ignored. Alienating an industry from the government may not encour
age good behaviour in the future when it comes to agency charges.
Taking a balanced and reasonable approach and showing that all have been listened to would have encouraged both the government and the industry to work together to control this issue in a much more positive manner”.
Draker Lettings is a lettings only agency with one of the most extensive property lists in and around Chelsea, Knightsbridge, Pimlico, Belgravia and Fulham.