As of 27 May 2015, it became a legal requirement under the Consumer Rights Act for all agents to show their fees as VAT inclusive. This measure, I believe has been introduced to once again clamp down on those rogue agents out there who are hiding their fee’s and misleading their landlords.
I get a real bee in my bonnet about lettings agents fee’s. You may have read my previous posts on hidden fee’s, price hiking and unfair fee’s. I’m now on my hobby horse about misleading fee’s.
I think my anger around fee’s stems from a basic human quality of honesty and trust. The way I work and the way I run my business is in a very open, upfront and honest way. I can do this because i’m a small independant. I manage less than 1000 properties and the book stops at me. I don’t have shareholders to please and pay, I don’t have a board to answer to and I do what I do because I’m a landlord, a business owner and an employer. I’m not a tycoon, I’m not a millionaire and I don’t wear a suit.
I have been running Brentwood Lettings for almost 20 years, and I pride myself on the quality ad the value of service my agency offers to our landlords. We don’t, and have never, advertise prices exclusive of VAT, we don’t add commissions to our contractors rates, we don’t double dip fee’s from both the tenant and the landlord and we don’t overstate our costs.
It would be bad practise for me to point fingers directly at my local competition, but I know all of the above are happening on my doorstep, to landlords within my catchment area and they are happening week in week out and have been happening for years.
If I could get all the landlords in Manchester together in one room and have the opportunity to say one thing to them, just one thing, I wouldn’t self promote, I wouldn’t sell, I wouldn’t even tell them who I was, i’d simply ask “Why are you letting your agent rip you off?” and offer them my phone number.
We publish all of our fee’s so nobody is left in the dark and nobody is left wondering about charges.