Celebrating the end of tenant fees in england and wales

🎉Celebrating the End of Tenant Fees in England & Wales🎉

Almost three years since being first announced, the Tenant Fees Act will finally come into force in England on 1st June. A similar law will commence in Wales in September.

This is something OpenRent has been campaigning for since founding in 2012. So we’re in the mood to celebrate!

The Fee-Free Philosophy

OpenRent has always believed in a transparent and fair property market.

We understand that the tenant is forced to deal with whomever the landlord chooses as their agent.

But tenants choose properties based on their location, price and number of bedrooms, not their agent. When they find a suitable property, they can’t shop around for a different agent. They aren’t protected by competition keeping agent fees low.

Fees are often hidden, too. Maybe the agent fails to display them on their website. Or maybe they only mention them after you’ve set your heart on a property, or even after you’ve paid a holding deposit. That’s wrong.

We think charging tenants these fees is simply unfair. So we’ve never done it. That simple philosophy has been at the heart of OpenRent for seven years, ever since we founded in 2012.

It’s absolutely no surprise that landlords agree. Landlords don’t want to see their tenants being ripped off by unscrupulous agent fees, either.

With the support of over 100,000 of these landlords, OpenRent has become the biggest letting agent in the UK.

Along the way, we’ve saved tenants £85m in agent fees.

Join our celebratory Tenant Fee Freedom Competition!

A Long Battle

Before OpenRent, landlords were forced to pay £1,000+ to letting agents, who would then also charge the tenant. These fees were hidden and not grounded in real costs.

The 1st June is the day that all tenants in England, not just the 1.5m who have used our site, will be able to find homes to rent knowing that they won’t be ripped off. Soon Wales will follow England and Scotland and become fee-free, too.

We have argued for this result on the radio, in the papers, online and in Parliament for years. By becoming the UK’s biggest letting agent without charging fees, we have proved that a fair and transparent business model is totally compatible with business success.

Because of the support of hundreds of thousands of like-minded landlords, together we have given unfair letting agents no excuse to charge £300 per tenancy on average.

OpenRent will continue to lead the sector on transparency and customer experience, using technology to revolutionise the way people rent property in the UK.

Tenant Fees Act Infographic about how much money OpenRent has saved tenants by not charging them fees.

Notable Replies

  1. I’m not celebrating with you.
    Maybe during your campaigning you could have concentrated on fair and transparent fees rather than no fees at all. As a landlord I’m now faced with £300-£400 bill for every tenancy changeover. Some of that fee is for me to check that whoever’s coming in, is suitable. How is that fair?
    On departure I also have to pay to have the place cleaned to a certain standard. Tenants have notoriously differing standards when it comes to cleanliness. How is that fair?

  2. You’re completely missing the point!

    As a landlord renting a property, I have to pay the council £500 every 5 years to verify that I am a “good landlord” (area: West London), I also have to pay for EPC, Gas Safe & Electric checks across varying periods, to verify my property meets a basic standard.

    I now also have to pay for Inventory checkin & checkout (where I previously only paid for the checkin and charged the checkout to the tenant) so that I can make a claim(should it be needed) against a deposit. All this in addition to paying for tenant referencing, to verify they are actually good tenants.

    Everything is now loaded on the landlord. I can’t even charge the cost of a professional clean against a poorly maintained property.

    Your weak defence of “we don’t charge very much” doesn’t really work when the quality of the services you provide, is as low as the price you charge.

    You are clearly are not representing Landlords in your viewpoint in any way and while I understand the need for some legislation to reign in greedy Agents, I feel this legislation is a real punch in the face for fair landlords everywhere, layered on top of all the other pressure and charges (i.e tax), being applied.

    JFYI when I mentioned cost of changeover, I meant a new tenancy, not a renewal. Why the F*^$" should I pay anything for the renewal of an existing arrangement, that I’ve already paid for, anyway?

    Please explain, in detail, how this benefits fair landlords, in any way.

  3. Sam,

    I struggle to see anything OpenRent have done which helps landlords specifically in all those links you reference.

    We’ve got licencing coming in from the council in many of our Cities. In mine they stipulates amongst many aspects a legal duty for the landlord to manage anti-social behaviour from the tenants. We’ve then got the threat of section 21 being abolished - so how do we manage anti-social behaviour without using a section 8 route, which turns us into private detectives gathering evidence. This is just one example where landlords are getting squeezed and many are exiting the market.

    I’ts struck a chord particularly as you’re celebrating the fee ban and after checking - I could see nothing OpenRent are doing to help landlords.

    Whilst I do like the OpenRent platform and will continue to use it for the foreseeable - you need to realise many agents are going down the online route and you need to be working harder to distinguish yourselves. With your clout you should have private landlords interests at the top of your agenda as all your revenue is now coming from us in it’s entirety.


  4. Hi Sam, rant over for me…almost… I think what’s clear to me now, is that the government hasn’t managed to differentiate Agents from Landlords. I expect in most cases(maybe not all), it’s not Landlords that charged fees it’s the agents they used and Landlords have little say in that. It seems that the landlords are now mainly paying for unscrupulous activities of Agents.

    I’ve already provided feedback on the issues with the services that I’ve experienced.


  5. I’m no longer a renter and now a landlord but am fully with OpenRent on celebrating this landmark day, which to be honest I never thought could happen in the UK.

    As a tenant in London, before I discovered OpenRent, we paid hundreds of pounds in non-negotiable fees to agents and landlords who literally made things up as they went. After hearing a friend sing OpenRent’s praises, I decided that I would only look for OpenRent properties and found a decent landlord, paid no fees AT ALL (he did his reference checks manually by looking at my id, income proof, etc), charged no fee for tenancy renewal (upped the rent by just £15 a month after a year, can you imagine an agent doing that?!) and genuinely valued having a decent tenant.

    We moved on to buy a home and later, when we rented it out, paid it forward by using OpenRent (we did charge the tenants the £20 reference fee though to get it done through OpenRent) and nothing else.

    As Sam explains, there a few issues such as the inability to charge a small fee for reference checks, but overall the Act has got 9/10 things right and that’s a great first step.

    There will always be a place in the market for full-service agents but it is only right that landlords (who have to power to choose their agents in a competitive market) pay for the services provided by an agent. If some agents still persist with unjustifiably high fees like a hundred pounds to print and sign a standard tenancy contract, landlords will no doubt find more efficient agents who won’t charge as much. That is the point of the Act.

    Once again, kudos to OpenRent for getting this right 7 years ago, when nobody could ever think that such a day would come!

Continue the discussion at community.openrent.co.uk

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This article is not intended to form legal or investment advice. Investments in property are not guaranteed and can decrease in value as well as increase.

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