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New Row Over Letting Agent's Evil Fees

New Row Over Letting Agent’s Evil Fees

Homeless Charity Wants All
Letting Agent Fees To Be Met By Landlords

The homelessness charity, Shelter have started to campaign to get all letting agent fees currently charged to tenants banned throughout England, and they want landlords to foot the bill for it, a point which has angered the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) and caused consternation with the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) and the UK Association of Letting Agents (UKALA).

Shelter have launched a new report, “Letting Agencies: the Price you Pay”, claiming that charging landlords is a fairer way of doing business and the charity also claim that tenants are having to go without food or heating to meet increasing housing costs because letting agents’ fees are out of control.

Shelter were instrumental in getting letting agent fees banned in Scotland and now want the practice outlawed by MPs in England and are calling for politicians to take action.

The homelessness charity seem to think that all letting agents are the devil in disguise and recently questioned 58 separate letting agents throughout England, anonymously, asking them about what fees each charged in order to set up a tenancy for a tenant and discovered the average administration fee charged by agents was £350 (GBP) plus upfront rent and tenancy deposits. Less than a third of letting agents questioned charged fees totalling more than £400 and seven charged in excess of £700.

The Shelter research claims that in the last three years,

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To Let - Legal Obligations Apply

To Let – Legal Obligations Apply

 

There are numerous rules and regulations which you must abide by when letting your house. It is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that the property which is being let out is fully compliant with all relevant safety regulations. As well as safety regulations, landlords must also be certain that they carry out any duties which are outlined on the tenancy agreement, if the landlord did not draft this agreement themselves, all clauses and responsibilities must be read and fully understood. It is always recommended to have a proper tenancy agreement in place at the start of each tenancy as this can act as protection should any disagreements between landlord and tenant arise.

A tenancy agreement can also outline the tenant’s responsibilities during the tenancy period and what they are required to do, this is mostly common sense but having this in writing with signatures from both the tenant and the landlord means each party have read the agreement and understands what is required of them.

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Landlords advised to seek student tenants

Landlords advised to seek student tenants

The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) has issued advice on the UK student lettings market to first time landlords.

UK Landlords should look to the student lettings market in order to get their empty properties rented out, according to ARLA.

With over 600,000 students starting university courses in major UK cities this September, the student lettings market is a thriving business sector.

UK landlords who are used to renting to working tenants and securing the rent with Rent Guarantee insurance may be wary of entering the student rental market but ARLA insist that the student rental market is a thriving business concern.

ARLA has issued advice on the best steps to take when renting to students that is invaluable information, especially for new or first time landlords.

Guidance for landlords includes ensuring students understand their obligations as tenants, (even when they are likely to be away from the property during long university holidays), joint or several liability clauses, in case students leave the property unexpectedly and conducting a comprehensive inventory, as students don’t always have the best reputation for looking after properties.

Specialist UK Landlord and Letting Agent service providers, Legal 4 Landlords, also urge new or inexperienced landlords to seek advice from a reputable property managing agent, with a proven track record in successful HMO and student lets, before entering the student lettings market and advise landlords to enquire with the relevant local authorities about licensing and compliance with any local legal requirements.

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