More landlords drop letting agents after price hikes following tenant fees ban

More landlords are dispensing with agents, to let and manage their own properties.

The National Landlords Association says that landlords are dissatisfied with extra charges that “many” agents are levying on to landlords following the tenant fees ban last June.

According to the NLA’s research among 791 of its members, 43% were boycotting agents in the last quarter of last year – up from 36% in the third quarter.

The NLA says that a typical landlord spent £3,221 on agency fees last year, up from £2,026 in 2018 – a 59% increase.

CEO of the NLA Richard Lambert said: “The tenant fees ban was always going to lead to agents trying to charge landlords more in order to recoup costs and maintain their margins.

“The only question was how much of a hike landlords would be prepared to accept.

“Landlords are voting with their feet and opting to forego paying inflated fees for the services of letting agents.

“This goes to show that landlords will only pay what they believe the service is worth and no more.

”A good letting agent can provide a great deal of value to landlords who do not wish to manage their own properties, but this shows that it is not essential to an increasing number of landlords.

“Responsible landlords can, and do, self-manage, saving themselves thousands of pounds.”


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  1. jeremy1960

    And yet our successive inept governments insist that only agents need qualifications training and regulation?

    Firstly agents will notice an increase in let only and diy landlords calling them to ask advice, next the deposit dispute services and the courtrooms will grind to a halt. Meanwhile polly and her pals continue to pay themselves huge salaries taken from government grants and tin rattling, patting each other on the back and congratulating themselves for ******** over letting agents blaming them for the number of tenants being evicted!

  2. Anonymous Agent

    The sheer lack of knowledge that a lot of private landlords have is staggering. I believe that there are some private landlords who are capable of keeping up with the legislation and of operating their buy to lets in a complaint manner but they are sadly in the minority. The government should set up a hotline for agents to report landlords when they have evidence of their non-compliance. It would certainly help to clean up the PRS.

  3. Tinkerbel0182

    “Landlords are voting with their feet and opting to forego paying inflated fees for the services of letting agents.

    Inflated fees?! I wish! Im sick and tired of people expecting us to work for nothing. Why shouldn’t we make a profit? We work hard, spend         ££££‘s on training and exams. We have office, staff costs and overheads like every other business but we are still expected to do all we do for the love of the job and for next to nothing. Those days are gone. No more racing to the bottom with ridiculously low fees. We know our worth. Whilst the minority of landlords can manage their own properties successfully, the majority really haven’t a clue what they’re doing

    1. DASH94

      A lot of the tenant fees that had been charged were ‘gravy’ – there were agents charging ridiculous tenant fees, and they’re the ones who’s greed spoiled it for everyone.  If agents are just looking at the amount of tenant fee money that they’ve lost and simply whacking that onto landlords (which some are), then it’s no surprise that landlords are walking.


  4. LetItGo

    The government approach is not joined up, we know that, of course it was going to result in LL’s leaving and self managing. At the same time attempting to force ‘up skilling’ in the industry. The route should have been to force LL’s to either up skill or go to a trained, accredited, easily legislated agent.

    This will only result in a reduction in the number of Agents along with a reduction in the ‘quality’ of self managed properties. 80% of the LL’s I service simply haven’t got a clue, tenant find LLs are probably worse.

  5. Andrew Stanton Proptech Real Estate Strategist

    Well maybe if RoPA does actually get through parliament in the next two years, and it rolls out Landlord licensing – that will be an interesting cocktail, even more cost to Landlord’s more red tape, heightened rents to cover the licensing costs for the landlord’s where will it end?

    I agree some landlord’s can look after their own stock, typically the rump of private landlords have one or two properties, yes there are multiple landlord’s but these are rarer. And of course there is the non-private landlord.

    Sitting in the middle of this is the tenants who as the years tick on will get greater in number, maybe a succession of housing ministers and housing secretaries will one day either leave this part of real estate alone, or listen to all stakeholders and work to a plan that works. Letting agents should be able to earn a good living for providing a good service, tenants and landlords should have protection.

  6. 70GJ

    The government have been “setting traps” for the landlord or letting agent. There are now so many notices, leaflets, certificates etc that need to be served to keep S21 valid. If S21 goes what happens to the requirement to serve “How to Rent” etc?

  7. Penguin

    NONE of my managed Landlord clients have ‘voted with their feet’ as they realise that what we do protects them, keeps them up to speed with endless changes in legislation, and we ensure that their tenants have a legal right to occupy their property.

    I am at the point now in being extremely selective about the ‘Find only’ Landlords I deal with because, as has been said earlier in this thread, a shocking number of the new ones I encounter have scant, if any, idea about their responsibilities, and imaginary expectations about their rights.

    It is bewildering that ‘have a go’ landlords are allowed to operate without impunity by the Government, whilst the rules and regulations on Letting Agents become ever more onerous.

    I am equally surprised that so many Landlords want to, in an area with so many potential pitfalls and possibilities of fines and even prison await them….

    ……all for the sake of saving a few bob on a professional who knows what they are doing…..

    …….for fees that are tax deductible for the Landlord!

    1. Mothers Ruin

      I agree with you Penguin we’ve not lost a single landlord either. In my area of Yorkshire though there is no way we get anywhere near the £3k ‘typical’ agency fees mentioned above so I think as a landlord myself if I didn’t own an Estate Agency business and was paying those fees I would probably want to manage properties myself too!

  8. agent123

    Landlords who use the NLA are often private landlords, why would they be part of the association if they used an agent? I am noticing more let only landlords upgrading to fully managed. I am surprised 53% of nla landlords use agents, that says more about how poor the support is from the NLA


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