For months the lettings sector has been discussing, debating and deriding the Tenant Fee Ban. But it was clear from the start that the Government wasn’t going to change its mind, despite challenges and letters of objection.
While keyboard warriors have been busy on industry forums and agency owners trying to balance books, tenants have been hatching their own plan and as of 1st June, lettings agents could experience an influx of business that may stretch resources to the limit.
Potential increase in tenant mobility
There has been a suggestion from The Deposit Protection Service (DPS) that tenants have been delaying moves to new rental properties until the Tenant Fee Ban becomes law, so they can benefit from a cheaper set up. The anecdotal observation is a valid one, and the DPS backs up its thinking with a study that found rents dropped during the first quarter of 2019 – down £5 (0.64%) from the final quarter of 2018 and £14 down from Q1 2018 a year earlier.
The DPS went on to suggest the downward trend in rental values reflects a period of ‘tenant inactivity’ leading up to the fee ban, with tenants happy to put off moving for a couple of months to benefit from a financial saving later on.
The upshot is anticipated to be an ‘opening of the floodgates’ after the 1st June, when new tenants and existing renters re-enter the market with confidence. The spotlight will suddenly be on the huge amount of administrative work needed to process new tenancies and manage properties legally during subsequent tenancy periods.
There’s little doubt that letting agents and property managers will soon feel swamped. The predicted increase in tenant activity will create a growing list of administrative tasks – all set against a backdrop of more lettings laws than ever.
In addition, there’s the small matter of Section 21s being scrapped and Section 8 notices being revised, which will create a steep learning curve for agents and create a more labour-intensive process to regain properties for clients.
Increased workload for letting agents
Agents can, however, manage increasing workloads by outsourcing tenancy administration, rent collection, property maintenance and management to ARPM. We can relieve in-branch stress, provide overflow resources and free up time so agents can devote themselves to new business, rather than spend two hours trying to book a gas engineer or schedule an inventory.
We don’t need to dwell on the increasing amount of red tape attached to lettings but agents can help themselves before they reach tipping point. Start reducing your stress today by contacting ARPM – we’re here to help lighten the load by taking on tenancy administration and property management.
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