Estate agents are more worried about the potential introduction of rent controls across the UK than any other issues, a key survey of sentiment within the industry has revealed this morning.
Just over half (53%) of all agents say it is their greatest worry at the moment, way ahead of almost all other issues facing agents.
This includes (in descending order) property market volumes, the tenant fees ban, making ends meet, supplier price increases, AML compliance, Brexit and property prices.
Agents also no longer seem worried by the ‘online agent threat’ after the collapse or struggles of several high-profile websites including eMoov, Tepilo, Upad and Hatched.
Only 10% of agents told lettings platform Goodlord’s researchers that they are worried by competition from hybrid and online competitors.
Agents’ worries over rent controls seems odd given that it is only Scotland where they have gained any traction.
In the rest of the UK only the cities of London and Manchester have said they’d like to implement rent controls or caps, but don’t yet have the powers to implement them – and are unlikely to get them while the Conservatives are in power.
During the election campaign Jenrick appeared to go soft on rent controls, accepting that something needs to be done to reign-in excessive increases in rents. But he said ‘traditional’ rent controls were out of the question.
“Whilst a significant proportion are currently pessimistic about the future of the industry, it’s heartening to see that a much greater proportion are optimistic about the agencies they work for,” says Tom Mundy, COO at Goodlord.
“Despite this being a major period of transition for the whole industry, most are doing all they can to make the best of a tough climate.”