Feeling empty handed after paying for your Brighton letting agent fees?
Two years on from when it was first announced in the 2016 Autumn Statement, a date for the ban on letting agency fees has still not been confirmed- the most recent estimate is that it will be spring 2019 at the earliest.
In the meantime we have just completed another summer of thousands of students moving into and around Brighton. The average student house is 5 bedrooms, so paying around £200pp in fees means that the average group of students pay around £1,000 in agency fees alone. Whilst we appreciate that it does take a lot of administration and time to prepare for a tenancy, the cost is extreme and it puts a lot of renters under considerable financial strain. It is also fair to say that letting agency fees can be complex, inconsistent and often hard to find- despite the Consumer Rights Act 2015 dictating that all fees for both landlords and tenants should be clearly displayed on the letting agents website and also in their offices.
The proposed fee ban has obviously been met with a lot of opposition, especially and understandably from letting agents, who will have to adapt their business model to ensure their service can still operate efficiently with such a loss of income.
There are suggestions that agents will be forced to find alternative ways to charge tenants, due to a potential loop hole in the Tenant Fees Bill, which does allow for ‘default fees’ but doesn’t specify or give guidelines as to what these could include. Organisations such as Shelter have spoken out about these concerns, and you can read more about those on their blog post here.
Until the time comes when the Tenant Fees Bill does come into force we have put together a list of letting agents in Brighton and Hove, and a break down of the Brighton letting agent fees.