11:59 AM, 31st May 2019, About 2 years ago 10
The National Landlords Association (NLA) is concerned the Tenant Fees Act 2019 may limit access to rented property for tenants in areas with selective licensing.
The Tenant Fees Act, which comes into effect on 1 June, limits the fees landlords and letting agents can charge tenants. Because of this, many agents have signalled they are unlikely to provide post-tenancy references, something they currently charge for.
However, most selective licensing schemes require landlords to complete reference checks. If tenants are unable to satisfy these checks, landlords will be unable to let to them without breaching the conditions of their selective licensing.
Richard Lambert, CEO of the NLA, says:
“Tenants are at risk of losing out on the chance to find a home because letting agents are doing everything they can to minimise workloads to cut down on costs.
“While landlords who self-manage their portfolios will be covering many increased in costs, letting agents are looking at any way they can limit what they have to do on behalf of tenants, now that the costs cannot be directly recovered.
“The smooth running of the housing market requires a little give-and-take, and unfortunately the reaction of some letting agents to the ban on most charges looks set to throw-up more barriers to moving from one tenancy to another.
“Just like private landlords, letting agency businesses are being put under increasing pressure by government regulation. However, they must realise that penalising outgoing tenants by refusing to provide references will ultimately cost them more than just the price of a reference as landlords opt to do without agents altogether.”
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