How can letting agents help landlords understand changes to tenant fees?
PUBLISHED: 09:11 14 June 2019 | UPDATED: 10:55 14 June 2019
From June 2019 the tenant fees act will change what landlords and agents are able to charge tenants. Using a specialist letting agent like Michael Graham Lettings can help landlords navigate these changes successfully. Here, Michael Graham Lettings manager Angela Keegan shares some advice for dealing with the new legislation.
What is the Tenant Fee Ban?
The tenant fees act comes into force on June 1 2019. From that date it will be illegal for landlords and agents to charge tenants a fee for carrying out references, inventories and administration. Other key elements of the tenant fee ban are to limit tenancy deposits to five weeks' rent and to limit holding deposits to one week's rent. Pre-existing tenancies can run under their current terms until May 31 2020.
Key information for landlords
Landlords who charge illegal fees will be fined. The first offence carries a fine of £5,000 rising to £30,000 for repeated offences. Whether landlords own a single property or a large property portfolio, Michael Graham Lettings has the specialist skills to simplify the lettings process. Angela Keegan stresses the importance of looking for a letting agent which displays the ARLA logo.
"ARLA property mark protected agents deliver even higher levels of financial protection to landlords and tenants than are required by law. All payments are kept in a separate client account which is independently audited and as part of the client money protection scheme landlords and tenants can rest assured that their money is totally protected."
Michael Graham is registered with RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) and has been ARLA registered and backed by the property mark protection scheme since 1999.
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Letting agents: how can they help?
Many landlords are unaware of the latest changes to legislation regarding the right to rent checks, the immigration act and now the tenant fee act.
Angela expects a landlord's main concerns to be around "health, safety, legislation and compliance." An ARLA registered professional letting agent will be up to date with all the latest changes to legislation and can help landlords manage all of these concerns.
Letting Agents Fees for Landlords
Letting agent's fees vary depending on the level of property management required. Michael Graham Lettings offers a rent collection only service as well as a fully managed option.
As Angela points out, "Most letting agents operate on a 'no let, no fee' basis and should be able to clearly explain their fee structure. Bear in mind that the cheapest agent is usually not the best." A professional letting agent should also have access to a large network of tenants which avoids the financial loss involved when properties are vacant.
Michael Graham is a specialist town and country estate and letting agency with 14 offices across eight counties and central London. With over 50 years' experience of helping people rent and buy their homes they are dedicated to getting the right tenants for optimal rental yield, and to making the lettings process as easy as possible for prospective tenants.
For more information on the Michael Graham Lettings services click on the landlord or tenant buttons on the website for a clear and thorough breakdown of services and the new fee structure www.michaelgraham.co.uk