20 08 2014

Labour Party proposals designed to protect tenants from unscrupulous landlords and agents are set to backfire – resulting in higher rents and a dramatic drop in quality rented housing.

Labour’s controversial proposals, which include the banning of tenancy fees, introduction of rental caps and statutory long term rental agreements will only help rogue landlords and agents to introduce higher rents ‘by the back door’.

The truth is that each and every day professional, responsible and reputable agents, who charge a reasonable and proportionate fee for the services they provide, actually SAVE tenants’ money.

Those agents who don’t follow the rules – and there are still a lot of them out there – may appear to be cheaper by offering a ‘cut price’ service, but in many cases this service could be inadequate and fail in meeting certain legal requirements that could prove costly for both landlords and tenants in the longer term.

Self-regulating agencies, such as Belvoir, provide high levels of service, expertise and objectivity when managing landlord/client relationships and we ensure that tenants’ interests are always safeguarded and protected – particularly when dealing with issues such as maintenance or breakage costs and end of tenancy disagreements.

Labour is also proposing the introduction of capped rental increases across the country, and yet the majority of landlords have not increased rent levels at all since 2008.

However, if interest rates rise – as they are widely predicted to do – a cap on rents could have a real negative impact on many landlords, who could be forced to sell off their property portfolios, thereby reducing even further the UK’s much need stock of private rented properties.

Belvoir is a company that is consistently recognised and awarded top honours by UK’s property industry for our professional and ethical approach, we have taken a lead in contacting MP’s throughout each region to make them fully aware of the benefits and high levels of protection that professional, self regulating agents provide to tenant clients.

We have been joined in the campaign by other leading independent industry bodies, including the National Association of Lettings Agents (NALS), the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA) and the Royal Association of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), since we all share a passion for maintaining the highest possible standards of professionalism within our industry.

We intend to fight Labour’s proposals in order to protect tenants from falling prey to many of the rogue landlords and agents which, sadly, still exist. We believe these proposed policies are unworkable, not properly thought through and ultimately will only harm the interests of housing tenants.

It’s a message that we want all existing or prospective tenants to hear and many of our offices throughout the UK are already receiving a very positive response from their local MP’s, keen to understand more in depth about these important issues.

Belvoir, along with all other reputable agents, wants to see Government bring in regulation for the entire sector – but it is essential that we, along with other professional bodies, are given the opportunity to help shape the future of such regulation so that both tenants and landlords can be assured of a high quality and transparent service in the future.




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