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. Avatar for Sam Sam says:

    Hi Logical Property Dev,

    Sure, so we’re a letting agent and our main concern is providing a fantastic service to landlords and tenants with a transparent and fair platform.

    So we don’t do any lobbying as such. That is, we don’t present member petitions to politicians, or host events trying to persuade our guests of our policy views. The link you shared is to the NLA site. The NLA are a trade association, and so its certainly within their remit to ascertain the views of their members and lobby for their advantage.

    We have, of course, spoken up for our users on many occasions. As the UK’s largest letting agent, OpenRent’s insights are regularly sought by other groups who do lobby policymakers, and policymakers themselves.

    For example, we spoke to the Tenant Fees Bill committee, here.

    We also spoke at the Work & Pensions Committee investigation into tenants renting while claiming benefits, here. We responded to some of their questions publicly, here.

    But more than this, we think that being an example of a company that charges low fees to landlords, and no fees to tenants, we are an example that the whole PRS policy community cannot ignore when planning how the future of the sector could look. By being successful while also being transparent, fair and with small fees, we are proof that the industry can change in a positive way and be successful at the same time.

    Sam

  2. 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?

  3. Avatar for Sam Sam says:

    Hi Anthony,

    We agree that it makes some sense for tenants to cover the real cost of their own referencing (i.e. £20, not £100) — if nothing else, then just to make sure that they have a reason to only apply to properties they are serious about letting. This is a point we made in parliament when discussion the Tenant Fees Bill with MPs.

    You’re right that paying £400 for a renewal of tenancy is not fair to landlords. We let landlords renew tenancies for free. And if you need to reference new tenants, then OpenRent charges just £20 per tenant.

    Letting agents have been able to over charge for too long and the new rules will hopefully force a major shakeup that ends up benefiting both tenants and landlords.

    Sam

  4. 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.

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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