In Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Autumn Statement he confirmed that the government is planning on banning letting agent fees for tenants in England. However, there will be a consultation before any legislation is brought to parliament, but it looks like landlords will be forced to foot the fees rather than their tenants.
According to PIMS almost half of landlords are set to increase their rent fee due to this change as an online letting agents’ recent poll of landlords claims that more than 40% of landlords intend on increasing rent amounts if they have to pay more to managing agents because of the tenant fees ban, whilst just a third of those taking part said that they would not raise their rents if this happened.
The survey also claims that although landlords have suffered at the hands of Osborne’s policies, 75% of them do not intend to sell up and leave the market. This is another failure in the government’s plans to increase availability of housing stock for private purchases.
James Davis, CEO and founder of the online lettings agent, said: “Once again a measure that has been brought in to punish landlords has come home to roost. Due to the chronic housing shortage we face in the UK, the lettings market is under immense pressure and this attempt to help potential first time buyers has actually done more harm than good. Instead of punishing landlords, we need to find ways to increase the supply of quality and affordable rental property to help house the millions of people who need it. Frustratingly for everyone involved, this research suggests that landlords will be left with no choice but to further increase rent.”
Mr Davis continued: “This recent blow is just one of many that have hit landlords hard in 2016. The neglected lettings industry has a bulging balloon of tenants who are chasing too few rental properties and by continually kicking landlords, this situation is not going to improve.
“This total mismatch between supply and demand is driving rents up by as much as 5% a year, rising far higher than salaries, which are predicted to rise by only 1% next year. Already 10% of all tenants in the UK have fallen behind with their rent payments and I predict this will rise by as much as 25% next year with the gap between rents and wage growth only widening.”