ARLA Propertymark has swung into full campaign mode on the letting fees ban, sending out a ‘battle kit’ to all its members.
The kit, which was sent out just before the long weekend, is comprehensive.
It includes a campaign letter template; wording for an e-postcard that can be shared with colleagues, enabling them to oppose the ban quickly and easily; a proposed agenda for agents to use when they meet their MPs; a briefing paper to give to MPs; and an economic analysis, called Letting the Side Down.
This piece of research, commissioned by ARLA Propertymark, has found that if an outright ban is introduced – as the Government plans – then tenants will not save money, property standards will fall, and 4,000 jobs will be lost within the sector.
Agents are being urged to do all they can to get their MPs on-side.
They are being asked to put over various points, including that fees should be open and fair, but not banned.
MPs should also be told that 87% of agents believe that rents will go up if fees are banned.
ARLA members are also being asked to put over to their MPs just how much work agents do that is required by law. According to ARLA, agents who manage rental properties have to comply with no fewer than 160 laws and regulations.
The letting fees consultation runs until June 2 and relates to England only. The consultation is not on the ban itself, but how it should be implemented and enforced.
The consultation says that a study of 50 randomly chosen agents shows that fees ranged from £120 to £747.
Reference checks for two tenants ranged from £20 to £570; charges for tenancy agreements ranged from £48 to £480; and inventories from £50 to £216.
The consultation says that banning fees will make moving around in the private rented sector less costly and reduce the risk of homelessness.
The totality of the proposed ban is made very clear: “Tenants should only be required to pay their rent and a refundable deposit.”
The consultation, at the link below, also mentions capping deposits.