Rent increase after Fee Ban? No thank you17 Dec 2019
The Fee Ban was a well-needed piece of legislation as it stopped agents from abusing the power they have over the tenants.
Many agencies were charging tenants for referencing, for inventories, for viewings, when actually the landlords were supposed to pay for that service. It resulted in hefty application fees, sometimes so high that it prevented tenants from moving home.
Unfortunately, the Fee Ban has impacted the rent negatively, as many agents tried recouping their losses via increased rents, in a move to transfer the cost of the bill to the tenants, as explained in this article.
At Rent Happily, we haven't raised a single rent due to the Fee Ban, because we have never changed fees to tenants in the first place, even when it was still lawful to do so.
Also, we have always encouraged long term tenancies, and not charging application fees has been instrumental in allowing free movement of tenants if they wish to do so, which is one of the key premises of the rental market. And our results speak for themselves, our retention level being twice as long as the market average.
Actually, we see the Fee Ban as an opportunity for agencies to become more efficient, to charge only what is necessary, when necessary, and to favour longer tenancies.