ARLA calls for tenant referencing to be exempt from the letting fee ban

ARLA insist tenant referencing is exempt from the ban

The Association of Residential Letting Agents have insisted that the cost of tenant referencing is exempt from the proposed letting fee ban in England.

Chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, David Cox, released a statement to member agents and the public saying: “Tenant referencing must be exempt from the ban.  The reasons for this are manifold.”

Tenant referencing helps to prevent tenants taking on financial commitments they cannot sustain and reduces the risk of them falling into rent arrears which often leads to eviction, a County Court Judgement or a drop in credit rating which will make it harder for a tenant to source other rental properties or apply for a mortgage.

Cox believes: “Quality referencing helps to reduce homelessness”.

Many think the cost of referencing is minimal however ARLA have claimed this is not accurate.  Their research has shown that agents consider the referencing process as one of the most time-consuming aspects of their job, taking on average up to eight hours to complete.

Referencing is a complex process, partly required by law through Right to Rent checks, and not simply a case of passing an application to a third party.

Cox added: “Referencing involves ensuring forms are completed properly, making requests to referees and guarantors, checking a tenant’s credit history, liaising with an external referencing company, collecting employment evidence and information from previous landlords, checking passports or other documentation, storing copies securely and scheduling and carrying out follow-up checks where legally required”.

ARLA Propertymark are continuing to campaign for the fee ban consolation to be extended or suspended.  However, in a recent radio interview, housing minister Gavin Barwell clarified the ban would still go ahead.

Full article available on Property Industry EYE:

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