Letting agents are already telling landlords that their charges will increase in the coming months despite no firm date being set for the tenant fees ban.
A message from an unnamed agent to a landlord said it was increasing management fees by 3.5% to compensate for lost income from the fees ban, and also suggests upping the tenant’s rent to cover the cost.
The note then offers to increase rates by only 1.5% to longer-term customers.
The message was revealed in a post on the housepricecrash.co.uk forum.
It didn’t reveal the name of the agent, but said the fees ban will create a “massive loss of income” and proposes the new charging regime from December.
It said: “On average, other agents in the area are increasing their fees by up to 5%.
“We are only looking to increase our overall management fees by 3.5% but I have spoken to x and as we have been managing your property for a while now, have a good relationship with you and value your custom, we are only going to increase yours by 1.5% so minimal impact.
“What’s happening on tenancy renewals is that the rents are being increased to incorporate the increase and make sure you are still earning more money.
“Your tenant’s contract is ending in December and she has confirmed that she wants another 12 months.”
David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, said he hadn’t heard of agents already raising landlord fees, but said he wouldn’t be surprised.
He told EYE: “I would suggest it is sensible to prepare the landlords now.
“These fees aren’t going to go away, they will be merged into something else.
“You can’t take the sort of money out of the industry and expect it to disappear.
“Tenants will end up paying the fees through their rent.”
No date has yet been given for the introduction of the tenant fees ban.
The Bill will reach the committee stage of the House of Lords next week.
Cox said he expected it to start in April next year unless there were delays and extra secondary legislation was needed due to amendments, in which case it may start as late as October 2019.