LETTING & ESTATE AGENT

Landlords adjust to new financial restraints, but what will it mean for tenants?

Landlords adjust to new financial restraints, but what will it mean for tenants?

An article in The Guardian believes that tenants who rent privately are likely to face rent increases over the next year, largely as a result of changes to the tax reliefs available to landlords on their mortgages and because of the recent stamp duty increase for buy-to-let landlords.

This article was based on research carried out by Kent Reliance, who are buy-to-let lenders. Four out of ten of the landlords quizzed felt they would be increasing their rents over the next 6 months. The average rise in rent these landlords expected was 5.6%, which on average across the country would be the same as a £49 increase each month.

In addition to the above, a potential rise in rent looms if a tenant fee ban were to be introduced. The Citizens Advice has lodged a report calling for the banning of tenant fees, something which has already been introduced in Scotland. Their report also suggests that a ban on fees would not lead to an increase in rents.  However, according to The Independent, there has been an increase in rents following the fee ban in Scotland. Since the ban was introduced, over the following 21 months, there has been an annual rent increase of 2.3% and was 'far more than the typical costs tenants previously paid when setting up their tenancy'.

Therefore, on this basis, for an average 2 bed property in Tamworth being rented out at £625/month, this would lead to an increase of over £14/month. For those tenants looking to rent long term, they may well be worse off for the fee ban. However, the initial outlay when renting would be less of a burden.

Legally, Letting agents are now required to make their fees readily available to view, be that online or in a prominent position within their office. Also, all fees should be advertised including VAT, be that for Letting or Sales. Failure to do so is a breach of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) guidelines.

The fees for Martin & Co Tamworth can be seen on our website and just inside our office front door. All fees are advertised inclusive of VAT. Also, we only process one application fee per property, therefore if you are a tenant and make an application, should the landlord decide to proceed with another applicant, your application fee will be refunded. As a tenant looking to rent in Tamworth, it is always worth asking your estate or letting agent for clarification on this point!