The owner of independent east London estate agency Metro 148 has described the Chancellor’s ban on fees as counterproductive.
Angelou Beswick said the move, announced by Philip Hammond in his Autumn Statement, may cause more problems than it solves as the costs are likely to be passed on to the landlords who will probably raise rents to cover them.
She said: “I don’t think it’s going to affect my agency because we are responsible with our fees.
“The difficulty I can see happening is that some landlords could be charged more extortionate fees to cover the agency’s costs.
“It would make it counterproductive because the landlords could put their rent prices up to compensate.”
Being both an agent and a tenant herself, Angelou sympathised with tenants saddled with the charges on top of paying deposits and rent in advance.
“I’m a tenant myself and I know about the difficulties of paying fees,” she said. “The majority of agencies are fine but it’s when they become unreasonable that they need to be looked at.”
She floated the idea of introducing a cap on fees rather than a blanket ban, which she thinks would be a more effective way of weeding out rogue agencies and landlords.
“I think, personally, a limit on tenant fees would be a better option than a blanket ban because I think as long as agencies are transparent and reliable, and it’s not too much, fees are generally OK.
“It’s going to be interesting to see how it plays out but passing the cost onto the landlord is counterproductive.”
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