Most landlords across the UK will continuity use letting agents despite facing a proposed tenant fees ban, says a new study.
The UK Association of Letting Agents (UKALA) says that 79% of landlords believe their agent fees will increase their fees because of the ban.
The ban itself was unveiled in the Chancellor's Autumn Budget last year and 71% of landlords said they will continue to use letting agents to manage their property.
Currently, a tenant can be charged a range of fees by the letting agent for conducting credit and reference as well as immigration checks and also for drawing up a tenancy agreement.
However, the fees vary widely, particularly for each job undertaken.
Landlords say they will ditch their letting agent
The survey reveals that 9% of landlords say they will ditch their letting agent should their fees increase.
UKALA has criticised the fees ban which, it says, cannot control affordability for tenants renting private properties by preventing a letting agent from charging for their carrying out legitimate business services.
They warn that the costs will be passed on to renters over the long-term.
UKALA's executive director, Richard Price, said: “Letting agents work to provide a service that represents excellent value for money but the tenant fees ban could leave hundreds of businesses with no option but to increase their landlord fees.
‘Crucial role that letting agents are playing’
“Our research is reassuring for agents as it shows that most landlords will keep their services even if they have to pay more. This is testament to the crucial role that letting agents are playing.”
The findings also reveal that 40% of landlords are looking to increase their rent to help cover the extra agent costs and 22% say they will shop around agents to find a better deal.
However, 13% say they would refuse to negotiate or to pay extra fees and 7% are unsure about what to do.
However, Mr Price is also warning that there is a 'tricky path' for letting agents to navigate in the future should the tenant fee changes be introduced along with landlord tax changes which will erode a property’s profitability.
Landlords warned over poorly maintained homes
Meanwhile, landlords in one city are being warned to look after their properties after one was taken to court.
Liverpool City Council says it is currently targeting investors there who are leaving rental homes to fall into disrepair.
They have already taken one landlord to court and he was found guilty for allowing his empty property to become overrun by rats.