A letting agency in North London has become one of the first in the UK to urge its landlords to raise their rents to cover the additional costs of tenancy management following the tenant fees ban, as the industry has always warned would happen.
A national newspaper claimed over the weekend that two-branch estate agency Simon Clarke, which operates in the Finchley and Whetstone areas of North London, has written to its landlords informing that they should raise their rents by £20 a month to cover the additional costs faced by the agency following the fees ban.
The letter, seen by The Guardian newspaper, also reveal that Simon Clarke is to begin charging landlords £240 including VAT for referencing checks on top of its existing fees, a service that it previously charged tenants £432 for.
Introducing the extra charge as a tenancy ‘set-up fee’, it says the additional charge is to cover the extra cost of this ‘essential referencing service moving forward and shall include the right to rent immigration checks’.
Tenant fees ban
“We are very aware this is a cost which you perhaps have not accounted for and therefore what we propose is a small increase in the monthly rental figure to absorb the effects of this charge,” the letter goes on to say.
“This means increasing your rent by £20 per month, and this is something we will do before we list the property ‘to let’.”
The landlord who contacted the newspaper has said he will resist the agency’s attempts to raise rents on his behalf. A representative from Simon Clarke said the company ‘had to pass on our costs for setting up a tenancy’.