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Letting agents under ‘increasing pressure’ from changing legislation

It is currently a challenging time for letting agents, following a raft of changes introduced by the government prompting concern that fewer homes will come onto the market, as vast numbers of landlords will be forced to exit the sector, restricting the level of housing stock agents have to offer. 

The current phasing out of mortgage tax relief, coupled with the introduction of further stringent buy-to-let mortgage lending conditions as the Prudential Regulation Authority continues to cool lending practices in the sector, will inevitably push some landlords out of the market.

The introduction of the 3% stamp duty surcharge on additional properties in April last year and the scrapping of the 10% ‘wear and tear’ tax relief for landlords who rent out furnished homes have also contributed to the sharp decline in the volume of buy-to-let deals.

Another major issue that private landlords in England may soon have to contend with is that of addition letting agency fees.

The government’s proposed ban on letting agents’ fees to tenants in England appears to be designed to shift the costs to landlords, and this is a major concern for letting agents, according to a fresh study.

A ‘rental repairs’ survey published in 2017 Fixflo Report, which rounds up the answers provided by almost 400 lettings professionals managing almost 90,000 rental properties for the company’s annual Rental Repairs Survey, reveals that letting agents consider the letting fees ban to represent their most significant challenge in the coming months.

Rajeev Nayyar, managing director of Fixflo, said: “As ever, the fourth annual Fixflo Report provides a clear picture of the state of the lettings industry throughout the UK, and ensures that agencies have a good idea of the ways in which they should be moving forward to improve their services throughout the coming year.”

David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, commented: “Letting agents are under increasing pressure from the swirl of changing legislation. The Fixflo Report provides them with an opportunity to benchmark their processes and to understand how their peers are navigating these challenging times.”

The findings of the Fixflo Report are available by clicking here.

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