Letting agency clients of leading property software services provider, Eurolink, are calling on the lettings industry to unite to block the government’s proposed ban on lettings fees and help prevent lost income totalling over £1 million.
Speaking at a Eurolink roundtable debate on the proposed ban last week, the agents, who represented firms from across the country, revealed that failure to block the ban would result in them losing anything from £85,000 in income per year for a single office to over £850,000 for a multi-branch network.
The proposed ban, which Chancellor Philip Hammond announced in his inaugural Autumn Statement in November, could see the end of upfront, renewal and exit fees for tenants.
Roundtable guests suggested that lobbying local members of parliament in addition to a range of bodies, such as the Association of Residential Letting Agents and housing charity, Shelter, would be more effective than relying on a single industry voice to take on the government ahead of its consultation, which is expected to be launched by the end of April.
In addition to the possible cost of the proposed ban, the roundtable debate explored possible outcomes, such as staff redundancies, and the steps already taken by some of the agency guests ahead of the ban, such as increased tenancy fees.
The debate also explored some of the challenges in store for agents, such as dealing with staff redundancies.
Nigel Poole, managing director at Eurolink, says: “The government’s lack of clarification around what the ban will entail is making it incredibly difficult for lettings agents to plan for the year ahead and work out how best to position their businesses to offset any negative impact.
“Perhaps the best solution is for agents to focus on the opportunities that a ban will create. Using their own client data to generate substantial new revenue streams from third party providers is a case in point – an approach that we have been working on with many of our clients for some time.”
The roundtable debate was held in Eurolink’s new cutting edge headquarters in the exclusive technology hub in London’s Kings Cross, alongside Google’s headquarters.