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Landlords will still use letting agents after fees ban – claim

The substantial majority of landlords who now use letting agents will continue to do so even if they see their premiums rise following a ban on tenant fees, according to a survey.

The research, from UK Association of Letting Agents and the National Landlords Association, shows that 79 per cent of landlords think their letting agents will increase fees as a result of the proposal to ban charges to tenants, as announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement last year.

However, just nine per cent of landlords say they will part ways with their agents if their premiums rise.

The ban is criticised by UKALA, which says affordability in the private rental sector cannot be addressed by preventing agents from charging for legitimate business services, and that the costs will eventually be passed on to tenants in the long-term.

In response to a potential increase in agent fees following a ban, the research shows:

– 22 per cent said they would look to shop around for a better deal;

– 13 per cent would attempt to negotiate or refuse to pay;

– nine per cent would pay the additional fees;

– nine per cent would leave their agent;

– seven per cent were unsure.

“The ban on tenant fees could leave hundreds of professional businesses with no other option than to increase fees for their landlord clients. This research is reassuring for agents in some ways as it shows the majority of landlords will retain their services even if they have to pay more – which is testament to the essential role that agents play” says Richard Price, executive director of UKALA.

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