The recent change in the law for the fees paid by people looking to rent property has had a huge impact on letting agencies, although one local agency is confident that they are in the best position to survive the changes – and keep their customers happy.
Up until June 1, 2019, landlords and letting agents were able to charge tenancy or letting fees. These admin fees varied significantly, and could be for checking references, carrying out credit checks, preparing the tenancy agreement, and so on.
Now, the only payments landlords or letting agent can request from a tenant are: the rent; a refundable deposit capped at five weeks’ rent if your annual rent is below £50,000; a refundable holding deposit capped at one week’s rent; utilities and council tax if included in your tenancy agreement; a charge for changing the tenancy or terminating it early if you request it, and a charge for default by you, for example, late payment of rent.
Any landlord or letting agent that charges you any other fees could face a hefty fine of £5,000.
This has obviously meant quite a loss of income for agents, some of whom were regularly charging up to £400 in non-refundable fees. Many have not weathered the storm, while others have passed the loss on to landlords by increasing other charges.
However, reputable agencies, like Hunters Estate and Lettings Agents, in Bradford, are proud of the fact they have taken on the financial burden themselves, with no additional costs to their landlords.
Manager, Admir Zenkovic, says: “We’ve maintained fees for our existing landlords, and we offer the same excellent service at no extra cost. We have many good, long-standing relationships with our customer base, which we want to maintain.”
The ‘How to Rent’ legislation is constantly changing, and it’s important that landlords and agents are compliant. Hunters is underwritten by solicitors, so they are always up to date with any changes that will affect their landlord or their tenants.
Not only does Hunters look after their customers, they are keen to put something back into the community by getting involved in local sponsorship.
They support a number of amateur sports clubs in Bradford, and they are delighted to be sponsors of Circus Star – a touring company that provides entertainment for children with additional needs or families in difﬁcult circumstances.
As Admir says: “It’s all about giving back, and even small donations can have a big impact on someone’s life.”
Hunters Estate Agent, 45-47 Godwin St, Bradford BD1 2SH