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One announcement in Philip Hammond’s recent Autumn Statement – his first as Chancellor – caused a bit of a stir in the property world. While there was no mention of changes to stamp duty or mortgage interest tax relief, there was some bad news for letting agents.
The government revealed that it will ban letting agents’ fees levied on tenants – something that renters and campaign groups have long complained about.
Letting agents and industry bodies haven’t reacted well to the news – calling on the government to have a rethink and insisting that it will be tenants who ultimately suffer from a move that is designed to help them.
Letting agents say they will have no other choice but to pass on the fees to landlords. To offset these extra costs, landlords will then have to charge higher rents – this means, rather than saving tenants’ money, it is actually likely to cost them more.
Supporters of a ban on letting agents’ fees, though, cite the example of Scotland, where fees have been banned since 2012. Since then there have been few obvious signs of rents rising significantly or of a lack of available rental supply in the country’s private rented sector.
Although a consultation period is likely to be carried out before the ban is introduced, there is very little chance of the government backtracking on their proposals. This means that letting agents will need to adapt to the new landscape, offering landlords’ better and more competitive management contracts to keep them on board.
Again, it is likely to be those agents who adapt to and embrace new technology that will be best placed to deal with the challenge of a fees ban and other challenges in the future.
As a letting agent, you want to offer the best possible service to your landlords. This is much more likely if you keep distractions and complications to an absolute minimum. To ensure this is the case you need the right sort of property software in place – software that allows you to manage your workload and team effortlessly online. Everything needs to work in complete harmony, allowing you to keep your customers happy, engaged and informed.
With the letting agency world about to get a lot more competitive, you will need to stand out from the crowd. Accessing your business, at any time, from any device, wherever you are, will help you to remain at the cutting edge of lettings and answer any potential queries in a fast, efficient and professional manner.
At Gnomen, we provide a cloud-based system that allows you to manage everything all in one place. Our packages also include multi-channel marketing – integrated messaging, social media, etc. – allowing you to offer landlords the best of all worlds.
What’s more, we can help you to provide tailored online log-in areas for both tenants and landlords. For tenants, this enables them to report maintenance issues, view their tenancy contract and make various payments. For landlords, the log-in area allows them to view scheduled inspections, download inspection reports, add properties and view statements and invoices.
Of course, as well as offering a great service, you also need a great website – fast, user-friendly, engaging and attractive. Our motto is “websites that look beautiful and work beautifully”, providing various cutting-edge features that will ensure you stand above your competition.
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