The news this morning that the chancellor may announce an outright ban on letting agents fees is very worrying to our sector.
Our fees cover services. For tenants we provide comprehensive referencing, a full inventory to safeguard deposits, a legally binding tenancy agreement, registering of the deposit with a government approved scheme and ensure the property is ready to be moved in to. Stripping it back - as a consumer, you expect to pay for goods and services, and this is what is being provided.
Our landlords pay a monthly management fee for us to oversee the tenancy, and for us to coordinate maintenance and issues that may arise and keep their property safe and we have a duty of care to ensure tenants are happy. We perform this in a professional manner, with up to date industry knowledge. A huge amount of what we deal with day to day is legalities within property law, and we are required to be up to date in our knowledge of property legislation at all times. People wouldn’t question paying a solicitor or lawyer large fees, yet what we do is of a similar nature to keep tenants safe from rogue landlords, something we take very seriously.
We are a member of ARLA (Association of residential letting agents) and they have made a strong case to the government that this will not help tenants in the long run. ARLA’s research shows that actually, the average fee charged by licensed agents in £202 per tenant – which is fair, reasonable and far from exploitative. The costs that are incurred for a letting agency to run if fees are abolished, will then have to be shifted for landlords to foot. The knock on effect of this, is rents will have to rise. This puts renters on the back foot, which is the very thing the government are trying to avoid. There is a need for more housing, and the current buy to let market will diminish with people withdrawing from investing in property and choosing other goods to get a better return on investment.
It is very difficult, when we do sadly work amongst agents who exploit the system and expose tenants. What we would like to see is regulation. If all agents were required to be licensed under governing bodies there would not be the agents who were charging extortionate fees. There would be blanket costs for all tenants, whoever they rented from. They would know the fees previously, and could save accordingly. The decision for agents to have to publish their fees, we believe is positive. Hidden or surprise costs are not something we condone, and we work on a transparent basis that people are aware what they are signing up to and what their costs cover.
In our opinion, the fees tenants pay for cover documents that benefit them. Landlords have to adhere to many important regulations regarding EPCs on the property, gas safety certificates, insurance, and deposit registration. Tenants need to appreciate that full referencing, inventories, tenancy agreements make renting safe for them. Any reputable agent will be transparent and clear with these costs, and the charges ensure that as an agent we are placing reliable and acceptable tenants in a landlords property.
If you would like further information, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
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People do like to be beside the sea it appears!
It is documented that the South Coast has seen property values increase in the past year and Brighton is ranked as the 5th seaside town with the highest average property price of £368,782 as documented by ARLA.
It is obvious for those that live in Brighton to see why it is so popular to relocate here, with the incredible eateries, bars, shops, tourist attractions including the new British Airways i360 and our sea views and the South Downs - Brighton offers everything you could want from a place to call home. (We are obviously biased as we live here!)
If you fancy a life by the sea call us today to see what properties we have available to buy or to let on 01273-917791
I believe that using a traditional estate agent and having a relationship with someone you can pop in to see, should never go out of fashion.
Fixed fees for an internet based agent of £750, only try to dazzle clients with a low price, when actually fees charged by traditional estate agents aren't astronomical. You also get a level of comfort and security by building a relationship on a one on one level is something that these internet agents cannot provide.
I want our clients to know us, I want our clients to know my favourite colour is purple and that Pippa's dream goal is to do a road trip around America. The reason being, is that if you know us, we will know you, and exactly what you need from us. As an independent Estate Agent we can adapt and work to every one of our client’s needs. None of our clients are alike and neither should our service be. The standard of professionalism and knowledgeability doesn’t change but we are not a 'one size fits all agency'.
Here at Lawton & Dawe when you instruct us to sell or rent your property, you have a personal relationship manager who is your number one point of contact. They will guide you through the whole process and will be as invested in the sale or let as you are.
If you would like to find out more, please call one of the team on 01273-917791 who will only be too happy to assist you.
At Lawton and Dawe we always want to look after our landlords and help them as much as we can. Below I will discuss a recent incident whereby I helped one of my landlords to find the perfect investment property to buy and then assisted in helping find the right tenants.
We look after 2 properties for this landlord but he was wanting to expand his portfolio and asked if I could help. At first he wanted properties located in Brighton but for what he was looking to invest he wouldn’t get back the return in the rental price. After visiting around 3 properties with my landlord I asked if he would look somewhere else rather than just Brighton when I suggested Worthing. He found a few properties in Worthing which were cheaper and he could get back the return on the rental price compared to the other properties he was looking at in Brighton. After we saw just the 1st property in Worthing I told him to get it – it was the perfect investment property. Once completed we put the property he brought up for rent and within a month it was gone and the new tenants were moved in. We make sure that we feel the tenants are the right ones for the property, and the flat went to a lovely couple with a new born baby and they were thrilled with the property as there first family home.
If you’re looking for a second hand to help then look no further. We have the experience and knowledge to help you find the perfect buy to let property and then find the right tenants to move in. We will assist on all viewings to make sure we know all the information and can give you the correct rental price.
Our buy to let advice is independent and comprehensive and either myself or one of the team would be thrilled to assist you with your first or fifth investment property.
Call me Gemma Riches on 01273 917791 for future information.