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24th November 2016

Autumn Statement 2016

Following the comments made by the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, in the Autumn Statement regarding imposing a ban on letting agents’ tenancy fees we wanted to clarify the current situation as much as we can to help our tenants and landlords alike.

Peter Lee, director for lettings at Redbrik said: “Although the Chancellor made the announcement yesterday regarding tenants fees, no motion has been passed to introduce the ban and tenancy fees will still be payable for the foreseeable future.

“We understand that a consultation on the removal of tenancy fees will be launched in the New Year. Details of what the consultation will contain have not been finalised and the Government has asked for The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), of which Redbrik is a member, to bring forward the industry’s views.

“We share ARLA’s view that a ban on letting agent fees will have a negative impact on the rental market and will not help tenants.

“This situation has arisen as unfortunately there are letting agents across the UK that charge extortionate fees to tenants, in some cases more than £800. We charge £250 plus VAT, which we believe is a fair price for the service and work we undertake.

“As an alternative to banning fees Redbrik would welcome and support mandatory regulation of the sector and a fair deal to cover the significant work that agents do for tenants.

“Tenant fees enable agents to carry out various critical checks on tenants before letting a property. If fees are banned, these costs will be passed on to landlords, who will need to recoup the costs elsewhere, inevitably through higher rents.

“The announcement from the Chancellor in the Autumn statement is a crowd-pleaser, which will not help renters in the long-term. All the implications need to be considered. The banning of fees will end up hurting the very people the government intends on helping the most.”