There has been much publicity surrounding the apparent incoming legislation and also much confusion. Needless to say, there has been much scaremongering from all sides (as politics tends to do) and this mostly circles around an increase in cost. Will tenants be better off if they don’t have to pay application fees? Will Agents simply pass on these costs to their landlords? Will Landlords in turn simply increase rent to cover the increased price of their agent? And so we go on…
Monday 21st May will see the second reading of the bill in Parliament and MP’s are being told that the potential new laws could lead to a loss of jobs in the lettings market and that a fee ban will not necessarily make the market fairer for tenants or shake it up enough to make it more competitive. While there is obvious good that has arisen from the shake up, there is also too heavy a hand being placed upon the property market. One can imagine this is the Government’s main fear as it chortles through its term in power – a causing collapse would be catastrophic for the Conservatives and would affect them for years, potentially decades! However, anyone who has studied economics (or economic history for that matter) will be able to point out plenty of times when markets have crashed due to unnecessary interventions. Furthermore, surely a better way to preserve the market is to incentivise those who trade in a fairer way? What do I mean here? How about those who change the way they operate their businesses (there are plenty that are EXTREMELY resistant – case in point being On The Market vs every online agency) to provide fairer conditions for tenants and or strive for more efficiency can reap some sort of reward? How about also providing agents who wish to practise fairly the tools in which they can revolutionise the industry such as national rental debtors databases?
Getting back to the point in hand, the government has also announced it will formally consult on proposals for longer tenancies in the private rental sector. Housing Secretary, James Brokenshire, has said in the Commons: “We will shortly consult on options to support landlords to offer longer tenancies to those who want them.” This comes as a step up from Chancellor Phillip Hammond’s statement in the November budget that said longer tenancies should be encouraged by TAX INCENTIVES (sounds like something I was alluding to earlier here…). This is the type of legislation I think we here at WitLet could really get behind!
Do you have questions regarding what is currently going on in the marketplace: Is it quiet? Is the rent I’m demanding to low? What do you think will happen in the short/medium term? Contact WitLet and we are happy to talk to you on a no obligation basis and we will share our vision of how Lettings should be run too (if you want to hear it obviously)!