In April of 2017, the government announced their intention to ‘provide a fairer deal for renters by banning unfair letting agent fees and encouraging greater competition in the rental sector’ (Gov.uk). Creating a fairer rental sector is something that Letproof.com, an innovative letting platform where landlords and tenants come together to match directly without agents or the fees, has been working toward since their launch. The ban has brought to the surface a topic that many involved in the rental industry have felt strongly about for a long time, however, 5 months after the announcement, a date is yet to be given for this ban to come into effect.
Andrew Seymour, the CEO of Letproof.com, is passionate about providing a solution for the vast amount of tenants suffering overcharging agents and states that this tenant fees ban is a long time coming; ‘I feel the ban is long overdue as the prices being charged by agents were getting out of control. There was no consistent charging, it was merely down to agents' greed, charging higher rents and using desperate tenants who are trying to keep a roof over their heads as a guide to charge more’.
The prices paid by both tenants and landlords, to agents are unregulated and can easily, and frequently do, rise; Andrew suggests that tenants could have benefited before now ‘perhaps if any of the agents’ associations had policed a national rate, in line with most other industries, where you expect to be charged a small admin renewal fee'.
With worries that, in an effort to prevent financial losses, letting agents will transfer costs to Landlords who in turn may pass them back to tenants in the form of raised rents, could and should landlords still be looking for more cost-effective ways to let?
Any way in which the rental market is making steps towards a more transparent existence is strongly supported by Andrew Seymour and the Letproof.com team. He is as determined as ever to provide the platform he has developed to the masses, offering transparency, an escape from all hidden and excessive fees and simplicity for both parties, who can cultivate themselves more positive renting relationships!