With less than 48 hours to go before the tenant fees ban goes live on Saturday morning a leading industry figure has warned of its likely unintended consequences, and criticised politicians for failing to build enough homes to rent or buy.
Hunters CEO Glynis Frew, who recently made her first appearance at a commons select committee last month, has warned that too often government policy on housing has started with good intentions but ended up creating undesirable consequences.
“It’s frustrating because the industry and government are actually joined up in their desire to ensure that tenants get a fair and honest deal,” she says.
“A small number of rogue agents or landlords have charged mind-boggling fees over the years, that’s a sad reality, but that’s not a fair reflection of the industry as a whole.”
Frew claims that both agents and landlords would have embraced fee caps instead of a tenant fees ban and that, because the government chose to ignore the industry’s advice, wonders if the fees ban will achieve its aims.
“Market forces will take their natural course and rent increases are likely to follow in many locations, especially where tenant demand is strongly outstripping supply,” says Frew.
She also criticises the revolving door of 17 housing ministers over the past 20 years.
“Not one has managed to build the number of homes the country is purported to need to satisfy demand and keep property affordable,” she says.
“Maybe, just maybe, if we had a Housing Minster that stayed long enough to understand the industry and the market, we would all do so much better.”