22 September 2020 | Admin | 0 Comments
Price increases & legislation update
I hope this message finds you well.
With Covid-19 dominating the news recently, we wanted to bring your attention to recent legislation changes, which you may have missed.
The Government have now confirmed from June 2020 that electrical safety certificates are required on all rentals and should be renewed every 5 years. Please read the full article here.
Stamp duty is now zero for under £500,000 purchases. The stamp duty holiday has pushed our sales listings and the property market into overdrive. There is a surplus of properties on the market at present and listing may outstrip demand but, for now, it’s rather buoyant. We are yet to see if mortgage valuers will accept pre-covid valuations. Speculation has arisen in the press about how long this property bubble will last. But for first time buyers it is a much needed incentive to help them get their foot on the ladder. For full details on what is covered in the stamp duty read here.
As I am sure you all know the ban on tenants’ fees, which came in on 1st June 2019 also affected the property market; more movements in tenancies but less income for landlords and agents. This ban relates to all charges, which historically estate agents have passed over to tenants, such as application fees, referencing costs, right to rent checks etc. The Government have also capped the maximum deposit which a landlord / agent can take to 5 weeks rent. Here is a handy guide to the tenant fees bans from the RLA.
We have seen a slight dip in buy to lets/rental transactions in University cities. The uncertainty around the need to be on campus and the increase in remote tutorials have had an impact.
As a business we lost income dramatically over the lockdown months. And unfortunately, the property portals haven’t been as supportive as we had hoped. Rightmove, in fact, increased our prices during lockdown; a move that shocked the industry. We did manage to keep the I Am The Agent team who have been loyal to us over the years through the harder times and hope that will continue. We also improved technology and automation to ensure enquiries were monitored 24/7, which was a blessing during Covid-19.
So, after 11 years unfortunately, we are now going to have to review our fee structure to allow us to survive. We have always prided ourselves on offering great service levels at a relatively low cost to landlords compared to many of our competitors for the service levels and tech we provide.
The reduction to our business turnover caused by the recent lockdown, our property portal partners increasing prices and government rulings, means we have to review our costings in order to continue offering the same level of service.
The new packages are priced as follows:
We also now have agency packages:
Please be assured we have not taken this decision lightly. I hope you can understand, after 11 years, a price increase is justified and thank you for your on-going support as a small business your continued support and business means a lot to us.
We are happy to talk to any of you who have questions / concerns over anything in the above e-mail. Please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our packages at www.iamtheagent.com. We will be adding the increases from the this evening, 22nd September 2020 and they applicable to all new or, even, returning business.
Again, we thank you for your ongoing support and we hope your families are well and safe.
The team at I Am The Agent