Following the introduction of the Tenant Fees Act next month and the financial pressures the ban on fees will put on letting agents, only the best-equipped agents will succeed in the rest of the year and next year.
Utility management service Tenant Shop said in a post-fees market, letting agencies that take a traditional approach with a focus on high customer service will be of huge value to landlords.
Glenn Seddington, managing director of Tenant Shop, said: “The introduction of the Tenant Fees Act is the most significant change to the private rental sector in recent years and landlords will need full service traditional letting agents they can rely on.
“Having the right tenant referencing, contractual and deposit systems in place will become even more important, as will remaining compliant with the new legislation.
“Letting agents can also prove their worth to consumers by providing a comprehensive, knowledgeable and personal service at a time of huge industry change when people will need reassurance and expert advice.”
With tenants no longer paying upfront fees, Tenant Shop said it will be vital that agents help landlords to properly vet prospective renters and ensure that all aspects of the move-in/move-out process are handled professionally and efficiently.
These aspects include notifying local councils and utility companies about tenancy changeovers and dealing with stray bills.
As many landlords consider their options following management fee increases brought about by the fees ban, agencies can make their offering stand out by showing clearly the range of expert services they provide for their fee.
Seddington added: “It’s this kind of approach with an emphasis on full service and demonstrating the value for money available to landlords which will see the very best traditional agents take centre stage once the fees ban becomes law.”
He said that while in some cases management fee increases may be justified, agents don’t necessarily need to hike fees to remain profitable from June onwards.
Seddington said: “It’s about finding a balance between charging a fair fee for what you offer while remaining transparent and cost-effective.
“Many agents have also been looking to build additional revenue streams to replace lost fee income.
“Working with the best suppliers can help agents to earn referral fees and subsequently keep clients’ costs down.
“Meanwhile, providing access to leading utilities services such as Virgin, Sky and Scottish Power can also help to keep tenants happy, encourage them to stay for longer and therefore reduce void periods for landlords.”