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Housing charity attacks industry over its tenant fees claim

Shelter says ARLA's claim that ban is pushing up rents is 'absurd' and 'scaremongering' but latest RICS data backs Propertymark up.

Nigel Lewis

shelter tenant fees

Housing charity Shelter has attacked ARLA Propertymark’s recent claim that the tenant fees ban is leading to higher rents as ‘absurd scaremongering’.

The comment has been made by its campaigns’ director Greg Beales, who also said the claim was ‘untrue’.

His comments follow last week’s statement by ARLA that 55% of letting agents say tenants are facing higher rents since the tenant fees ban.

David Cox image tenant feesIt’s Chief Executive David Cox (left) said that: “Unsurprisingly, rent costs hit a record high in June as tenants suffered the impact of the tenant fee ban.”

But Beales says: “It’s absurd to claim that the tenants fee ban has made private rents rocket, when the Government’s official statistics show this isn’t true.

“In fact, before plans for the ban were introduced, private rents were rising more quickly in England than they are now.

“This kind of scaremongering is completely the wrong thing to do,” he told The Daily Mail.

Rent rise

But latest figures from RICS on the private rental market issued yesterday back up ARLA’s position.

It says tenant demand for property is at its strongest since 2016 and this, coupled to a three-year-long decline in landlord instructions, means 25% more RICS members now predict rents will rise.

Simon Rubinsohn - RICS - image tenant fees“The lettings market data continues to send a very strong message that institutions need to upscale their build to rent pipeline to address the shortfall resulting from the decline in appetite from buy to let investors,” says RICS’ Chief Economist Simon Rubinsohn (left).

“It is significant that the near-term rental expectations indicator has climbed to a three-year high.”





August 9, 2019


  1. This makes me so cross……What did Shelter expect ??? What have we been trying to tell them all these years through David Cox from ARLA….we knew the tenant fee ban would have this affect. It was so obvious !

    Shelter should hang their heads in shame as they have done more harm than good to the tenants they say they are protecting. Landlords have had to increase rents to cover their extra costs and loss of tax benefits. Nearly all my landlords have increased rents, some of whom hadn’t done this for years especially for the well behaved tenants. Several have also sold up reducing the level of rental property available.

    Everyone in the media gives us and the landlords a bad name by stating that we are are only there for the money … yes we all are….. but so is everyone else who runs a business…. that’s what makes the world go round. Private landlords are not there to provide social housing for those in real need although some of my landlords very often do. They do have hearts, but not bottomless pockets! The government has created this crisis by selling off all the council houses cheap years ago and not re-investing the money to replace their stock and are now left with very few homes to help tenants in real need.

    If the government and Shelter want to help improve the housing situation they need to help landlords…. not keep constantly persecuting them.

  2. I am wondering why Mr Beales feels he is qualified to make such bold statements. My statement is based on the fact that he appears to be aware of even the basic principles of how businesses (which is what Landlords are), operate.

    Quite simply Mr Beales, if cost of goods or services go up, then the price of those goods or services has to increase, otherwise either the profit goes down, or the business in question goes out of business.

    To say it is absurd that rents should go up because the landlords costs have increased, is at the very least naïve. However if you factor in that Shelter has already done this before in Scotland in 2012 and rents have increased by 15%, and they have said it was only 2%! I think you ought to make your own minds up!

    I am fast moving towards the conclusion (having spoken to many people since their first successful Fee Ban, is that Shelter appear to be promoting such action deliberately!

    Could this be to raise their own profile and guarantee their own future as the homeless numbers are set to increase dramatically by Shelter’s own strategy and actions? I am genuinely beginning to wonder if that is really the truth.

    It appears to me that what Shelter is really doing, is provoking (and motivating) private landlords to sell up. If they do, then those homes will go to the top end of the people who are looking to buy homes or to the next level where existing first time buyers want to go upmarket, releasing their own first time property to the same market sector mentioned at the beginning of this paragraph. How Mr Beales does that help the homeless? If anything you will create more homeless with less available properties.

    If as I (and many others ) are now suspecting, Shelter looks like it actively wants to increase homelessness in the UK, perhaps they should be more honest about it. Everyone can now see their actions are quite clearly demonising decent tenants, by deliberately increasing costs unnecessarily to decent landlords (and agents) forcing them to pass it on or go out of business. If they do want to genuinely help, why won’t Shelter address the real issues in this market place? That, is actually getting rid of bad landlords (and agents), who flout the laws? The private rented sector has nothing to do with homelessness, ids there not a good argument therefore to suggest they stick to what you were formed to do in the first place?

  3. And which world do shelter live in?

    We have lost more landlords who have decided to sell up in the past 6 months than the previous 15 years!
    We have now almost every landlord insisting on increasing rents to existing tenants annually, whereas many have not previously imposed any increases; it is the existing long term tenants that will pay the price.
    We have a local council offering landlords £1500 (yes! £1500) incentives to offer housing to HA clients as they cannot find any landlords willing to take.
    Many landlords now declining low income, first timers, tenants with pets.
    Lots of angry landlords when we advise that we will have to return deposits if more than the statutory amount; many had taken extra due to pets, tenants circumstances etc.
    Shelter have made a complete b****cks of this and are looking for others to blame!
    When did Shelter last house a homeless person rather than add to the homeless totals???

  4. Landlord this week came to us to do a renewal tenancy agreement expecting the tenant to cover the cost as they have done previously. When informed that he would now need to pay because of the fee ban and that because the existing tenant was moving in, her partner there would need protection of the deposit and right to rent checks and we would charge for them. He came back to us this week to say he had agreed with the tenant the renewal at an increased rent, that will see him get back in the year more than the charge for renewing the tenancy. Landlord 1 Tenant 0.

  5. How deluded Shelter are! What they don’t see is that they have actually hurt the people they try to help. We have sold 10 let houses so far this year, over half our landlords have said they will put rents up, no questions asked, and we’ve even had farmers leave houses empty because they are just fed up with all the increases in bureaucracy and cost, that they can’t be bother to even talk about it any more. Good job Shelter, keep up the PRS wrecking work.

  6. How blinkered is Mr Beales from Shelter.

    I have been asked by 3 landlords this week to increase their rents.

    So who will suffer? Well that will be the tenants and some have resided at these properties for many years – and when they paid their referencing fees all those years ago never complained. In fact we have never had any tenant complain about paying for referencing.

    So Mr Beales from Shelter my advice to you is to take your head out of the sand get out and talk to Letting agents and then make your comments.

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