Property News

Scottish letting agent offers his view on agent fees ban

Em Morley - November 29, 2016

It is still less than a week since the Chancellor announced that letting agent fees are to be banned, but the debate on the overall impact on the sector continues to rumble on.

Now, the managing director of one of the leading letting agencies in Edinburgh and Glasgow has aired his opinion on how Scotland has adapted to the changes. Letting agent fees have been banned north of the border since 2012.

Ban on fees

The ban of agent fees in England is still subject to further clarification, with a consultation process expected early in 2017.

David Alexander, of Alexander Lettings, noted: ‘As is the case in England just now, established Scottish agents were initially strongly opposed to the change. Most took the view that fees were fair and reasonable and that the problem lay with a relatively small minority within the industry who charged tenants more than was necessary.’[1]

He noted that many reputable agencies simply got on with it and complied with the new law.

‘Individual agencies, of course, adapted in different ways. In our own case, with circa 5,000 properties under management in Edinburgh and Glasgow and with a substantial number of tenants coming from the corporate sector, we were able to pursue various alternative revenue options. Indeed, the need for change opened a number of new doors and led to an overall increase in the efficiency of the company,’ he continued.[1]

Scottish letting agent offers his view on agent fees ban

Scottish letting agent offers his view on agent fees ban


Concluding, Mr Alexander said: ‘Four years on, the markets in Scotland’s two biggest cities are buoyant but with supply and demand reasonably balanced, to the general benefit of both landlords and tenants. And established bona fide letting agents, who learned to live with the legislation, are continuing to thrive.’[1]