Peter Grant, VTUK’s Chief Executive, comments: “Shelter’s campaign to have lettings fees to tenants banned, which was granted in Scotland this year and launched in England & Wales on 12th June, also comes at a time when the news has been awash with reports of letting agents being targeted by protesters because they’re not being transparent enough with their fees.
“The Government seems to be holding fast with a “hands off” approach to the industry as a whole but as ever, public opinion can change this rapidly. In the case of Scotland, we held a round table meeting, including Shelter, leading agencies, law firms and the Shadow Minister only two days before the law was passed and the entire group felt it would be going nowhere. For this reason, it is crucial for the industry to act now, taking a pre-emptive and commercially viable approach rather than waiting for the axe to fall.
“Forward thinking agencies already operate schemes that produce transparent charging schedules that ensure tenants don’t spend a penny before knowing the costs, either in real or emotional currency, and this is simple to implement. As a facilitator of tenant communications, it’s important that we and our member clients set the industry standard and stay ahead of the curve, which is why we updated our letting agency software in light of these changes, with a new ‘Let Fees’ function that allows the fees to be appended in correlation to the property description.
“Right now and ahead of legislation, our clients are being transparent and open about fees and this is an industry driven solution we should be embracing for all.”
For further information on VTUK, please call 0800 328 0460 or visit www.vtuk.com