The majority of landlords (71%) who use a letting agent will continue to do so even if they see their premiums rise following a ban on tenant fees, according to a recent survey (NLA/UKALA Quarterly Landlord Panel – Q4 2016). The research, from UKALA, shows that eight in 10 landlords (79%) think their letting agent will increase their fees as a result of the proposal to ban charges to tenants, as announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement last year. However, just 9% of landlords say they will part ways with their agent if their premiums rise. The ban is criticised by UKALA which argues that affordability in the private-rented sector cannot be addressed by preventing agents from charging for legitimate business services and that the costs will eventually be passed onto tenants in the long-term. In response to a potential increase in agent fees following a ban, the research shows:
• 40% of landlords said they would increase rents to cover the cost
• 22% said they would look to shop around for a better deal
• 13% would attempt to negotiate or refuse to pay
• 9% would pay the additional fees • 9% would leave their agent
• 7% were unsure.
The findings contrast with recent research from UKALA which showed that almost half of landlords (47%) would forego the services of their letting agent if their profits fall following the changes to landlord taxation from April (2017). Both sets of research were undertaken by UKALA in conjunction with the National Landlords Association (NLA), in order to better understand the impact that recent government policy decisions will have on the professional lettings sector.
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