At Dexters we have always charged customers fairly, splitting some costs between the landlord and tenant. Our tenant charges are relatively modest and unlike most agents, our landlords pay us monthly rather than "up front".
Whilst we await the exact detail of the legislation we broadly welcome the Government's action on this. However, the Government missed the point and is dealing with the effect rather than facing up to the cause of the problem. We would prefer to see compulsory regulation of letting agents but this is a step in the right direction, as it will lead to more transparency and make life difficult for rogue estate agents.
At Dexters, we are proud of our credentials. Not only do we run the Dexters Academy to train all our staff, we are a firm of chartered surveyors and a member of the professional body, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. We are also members of the Association of Residential Lettings Agents and comply with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, the Property Ombudsman and the London Rental Standard. But we don’t have to belong to any of these bodies because the industry is not regulated. A law or an accountancy firm would not be allowed to trade without stringent professional controls. Why should an estate agent be any different?
Our focus has always been on providing our clients with a professional service and they pay us a fee that reflects the work we do for them throughout the tenancy.
We have never looked to make a profit from tenants and we have used their charges to help cover the costs we incur on behalf of our landlords. Our tenant fees have remained significantly cheaper than our competitors so we can attract a wide selection of tenants for our clients.
This ban will allow tenants to choose the agent they rent through on the service they provide, whether they are regulated and the number of properties they have available rather than the cost. We have the best staff who are trained in line with ARLA and RICS and we have thousands of properties available to rent every day. There is no reason for a tenant to look beyond us!
Lettings agents in England will be banned from charging fees to tenants "as soon as possible" under plans announced in the Autumn Statement. Tenants can be charged fees for a range of administration, including reference, credit and immigration checks. Chancellor Philip Hammond said shifting the cost to landlords will save 4.3 million households hundreds of pounds. The move could spur competition as landlords, unlike tenants, can shop around for the cheapest agent. In Scotland, lettings agency fees to tenants have already been banned. Fees vary widely, with costs in some big cities much higher than elsewhere. Tenants face charges when agents draw up tenancy agreements along with the possibility of a non-refundable holding deposit paid before signing up to the deal.