One of the UK’s leading franchised letting agency groups has claimed that the tenant fees ban is part of a plan to eliminate smaller agencies from the market and encourage the larger, more corporate players, as well as the official aim of introducing greater ‘transparency and fairness’.
The Property Franchise Group (TPFG) says the lettings fee ban is part of a wider attempt by government to encourage a “smaller number of stronger, more professional and better regulated agents”.
“The short-term effect will be to drive some of our competitors out of business as they struggle to deal with extra regulatory hurdles such as mandatory Client Money Protection or face a significant loss of income because their business model has been predicated towards charging excessive tenant fees,” says TPFG’s CEO Ian Wilson.
“As an experienced franchisor we have a track record of dealing with regulatory hurdles on behalf of our franchisees and we see opportunities to win increased market share over the next two years.”
The comments are made within the company’s final results published yesterday, which also highlight the extreme challenges faced by its lettings franchisees.
These include the number of buy-to-let mortgages reducing from a peak of 190,000 in 2008 to just 60,000 last year, more landlords selling up or self-managing their properties and ever lengthening tenancies.
TPFG says tenancies have reached an average of 30 months across its six branded businesses. These are Martin & Co, Ewemove, CJ Hole, Parkers, Ellis & Co and Whitegates.