London agent urges landlords to increase rent – after upping letting fees

June 17, 2019
London agent

One London letting agent has said it will start charging landlords £240 for credit and other checks on top of its current fees – and has urged landlords to pass on the cost to tenants.

The Guardian reported London letting agent Simon Clarke had written to its landlords outlining the extra levy and the proposed £20 a month rent increase which they claim is a knock-on effect of the recently introduced Tenant Fees ban.

Prior to the ban the agency charged tenants £432 for credit and other checks – a cost they are now passing on to the landlords.

A letter sent to Guardian Money by a landlord who had received the email from Simon Clarke, stated: “Assuming you would like us to continue to fully reference and credit check prospective new tenants as and when your property becomes available, we need to inform you that an additional admin charge of £200 plus VAT known as a ‘tenancy set-up fee’ will be levied … and in addition to the letting fee. This is to cover the cost of this essential referencing service moving forward and shall include the right to rent immigration checks.”

The landlord the Guardian spoke to said they didn’t think the letting agency’s move was “in the spirit of the legislation” adding they would “rather bear the brunt of these charges, not the tenant.”

Simon Clarke remained unrepentant about the move, while a spokesperson for Arla Propertymark said they had predicted rent rises would be a consequence of the Tenant Fees Act which came into force on June 1.

A spokesperson for Simon Clarke told the Guardian: “With the introduction of the tenant fees ban, we have had to pass on our costs for setting up a tenancy. In this time of increased regulation, particularly the recent rises in landlord taxation, we have advised our clients on how to ensure they can still cover the costs of their rental properties.”