A lettings industry leader has heavily criticised the tenant fees ban in an officially-endorsed magazine featuring an introduction by Theresa May.
Sue Gidney, Managing Director of Swindon agency Richard James, was asked to write a summary of her company’s recent performance in The Parliamentary Review, a magazine that highlights the success of different industry sectors including housing.
Despite being endorsed by leading government figures including the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, Gidney savages the Tenant Fees Bill, which is due to go live on 1st June this year and come into force fully a year later.
Writing in the magazine, Gidney predicts that the industry will see a 15% to 20% reduction in turnover following the ban which is “a terrifying prospect”, she says.
Gidney also claims that the fees ban is likely to increase the cost of renting via higher rents, prompt more agency closures and put more people out of work.
“It’s hard to think who will actually benefit from this initiative,” she says. “Nothing will be of salvation for some lettings companies in light of the enormous legislative and regulatory changes that are due to come,” she says.
“Competitive introduction of more letting agents has, over the course of the last couple of decades, already drive down management fees – that is, our turnover. It used to be the case that the fees that we charge were roughly 14-15% of the costs involved; these days, though, it can be around 8-9%. This has been the result of quite natural forces, and it has prompted us to do more with less. However, the new changes being introduced will be a defining generational issue for letting companies.”