Following the introduction of the Tenant Fees Act next month, landlords and tenants will increasingly focus on the level of service provided by the country’s best letting agents, believes Tenant Shop.
The utility management service says that, due to the financial pressures that the ban on fees will put on letting agents, only the best equipped will succeed, as we move through the second half of 2019 and into 2020.
In a post-fees market, letting agents that take a traditional approach, with a focus on high levels of customer service, will be of huge value to landlords, Tenant Shop claims.
With tenants no longer paying upfront fees from 1st June 2019, it will be essential that agents help landlords to properly vet prospective tenants and ensure that all aspects of the move-in/move-out process – including notifying local councils and utility companies about tenancy changeovers, and dealing with stray bills – are handled professionally and efficiently.
Glenn Seddington, the Managing Director of Tenant Shop, says: “The introduction of the Tenant Fees Act is the most significant change to the private rental sector in recent years, and landlords will need full service traditional letting agents they can rely on.
“Having the right tenant referencing, contractual and deposit systems in place will become even more important, as will remaining compliant with the new legislation.”
He continues: “Letting agents can also prove their worth to consumers by providing a comprehensive, knowledgeable and personal service at a time of huge industry change, when people will need reassurance and expert advice.”
As many landlords consider their options following management fee increases brought about by the fees ban, agents can make their offerings stand out, by clearly showing the range of expert services that they provide for their fees.
“It’s this kind of approach with an emphasis on full service and demonstrating the value for money available to landlords, which will see the very best traditional agents take centre stage once the fees ban becomes law,” Seddington explains.
He adds that while, in some cases, management fee increases may be justified, agents don’t necessarily need to hike their fees to remain profitable from June onwards.
“It’s about finding a balance between charging a fair fee for what you offer, while remaining transparent and cost-effective,” Seddington says. “Many agents have also been looking to build additional revenue streams to replace lost fee income.”
He concludes: “Working with the best suppliers can help agents to earn referral fees and, subsequently, keep clients’ costs down. Meanwhile, providing access to leading utilities services, such as Virgin, Sky and Scottish Power, can also help to keep tenants happy, encourage them to stay for longer and, therefore, reduce void periods for landlords.”