There has been a palpable diminishing of the urgency associated with the letting fees ban over the past few months with the announcement that it won’t be coming in until the beginning or the spring of 2019. Agents have seemingly decided that they don’t need to be as concerned about it as they were when they thought it would be passed by the end of 2018. This is an attitude that could backfire on them.
Agents should not be relaxing - if anything, they should be doubling down and ensuring that they’re completely ready for the introduction of the ban. Here’s why.
We know that it’s going to have a financial impact
There are only three things that are certain in life: death, taxes and the fact that this ban is going cost you money. We really don’t need every industry analyst out there telling us that the ban is going to have a negative financial impact on agencies. Of course it is - it’s literally a ban that prevents you charging the fees that make up at least some of your income. If anything, that means you should be even more concerned. With this in mind, you should absolutely be continuing to make sure that the ban will affect you as little as possible, which brings us on to our next point.
One plan might not be enough...
You might have a strategy or a plan to make up the shortfall that it’s going to create but, as Mike Tyson once said, everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face. Come up with Plans B, C and D in addition to Plan A and run tests (if possible) to check that offering between-tenancy cleaning services (for example) will be an effective way of bringing in extra income.
It might still change from its current form
The ban hasn’t been passed yet which means it could still change - politicians love to mess us around whenever they get the opportunity. However, the strong feeling about the ban from tenants means that it’s unlikely that any changes will be major - that said, there could be some subtle differences made to the final legislation that could still affect you. With that in mind, you need to ensure you’re still reading about the developments with the ban to make sure you’re not caught out.
Everyone else is thinking about it
The ban is going to affect everybody, but it’s those who have best prepared for it that are going to be affected least. Assume that all of your competitors are thinking about it and preparing for it - those ahead of you could pull away, and those behind could eclipse you, so it’s not worth the risk to forget about it.
Rest assured, Fixflo will be covering every dash and full stop in the Bill as they're decided upon, so stick around for the latest in letting fees ban news.