Referencing must be exempt from agent’s fee ban, urge ARLA
The Association of Residential Letting Agents have recently spoken out about the importance of tenant referencing being exempt from the government’s proposed ban on letting agent’s charging fees to tenants in England.
In a note to their members and the press, ARLA said:
“Referencing ensures that tenants do not take on a financial commitment which is unsustainable. Referencing reduces the risk of tenants falling into rent arrears which often results in them being evicted and subject to County Court Judgments.
“This can lead to a drop in credit rating and difficulty sourcing other rental properties or making successful mortgage applications, along with difficulty sourcing low cost credit from mainstream suppliers. Quality referencing helps to reduce homelessness.
“While it is frequently said that referencing is available for a few pounds this is not accurate. Our primary research has shown that agents list referencing as one of the single most time consuming aspects of the role.”
Understanding the complexities of thorough tenant referencing procedures, the association (quite rightly) insisted:
“Referencing involves ensuring forms are completed properly, making requests to referees and guarantors, checking a tenant’s credit history, liaising with an external referencing company, collecting employment evidence and information from previous landlords, checking passports or other documentation, storing copies securely and scheduling and carrying out follow up checks where legally required.”
The process can become even more complex with government initiatives like Right to Rent thrown into the mix.
The question now is whether letting agents will seek to pass costs onto their landlords, which coupled with various tax changes, including the scrapping of mortgage interest relief last month, will make it even harder for buy-to-let investors to make a profit.
Many news sources are reporting this as ‘bad new for landlords’, however at the TR Group we believe there is a positive spin on this. Primarily, this is the perfect opportunity for landlords to become accredited and learn how to efficiently self-manage their properties to keep their costs (and rents) down.
At the TR Group it has been our mission to create the best products at the best price over the years, to help our member landlords meet their costs as well as their legal obligations.
So landlords and letting agents, if you’re looking to give your tenants the best deal and prepare for another drastic change to the private rented sector join LandlordReferencing.co.uk today for all your Referencing & Insurance needs.
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