The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) has caused controversy over claims regarding the amount of time agents spend on helping tenants secure a property.
In research on letting agent fees, the group claims that conducting credit checks, attending viewings, and collecting references each take members an average of eight solid hours of work.
Even more remarkably, in some cases ARLA claims referencing can take “a number of days, if not weeks.”
ARLA members also reported that drawing up a tenancy agreement or renewal takes an average of five hours, despite many agents using standard contracts.
Agents also reported an average of seven and a half hours for miscellaneous “administration”.
The report is part of ARLA’s response to a government consultation on potentially banning letting agent fees charged to tenants.
Announced in the Autumn Statement, the consultation seeks industry views on the impact of such a ban, which ARLA and other bodies maintain will increase rents for tenants and potentially cause lay-offs in letting agency businesses.
According to the ARLA report, six in ten agents also believe that a ban would cause the quality of properties to decline, although the document does not explain why.
The government’s consultation ends on Friday. Interested parties can respond via the consultation page on the government's website.
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