Increase in lettings legislation could help agents to win more instructions

16 October 2018

Landlords will need more advice and support from letting agents in order to navigate the increasing compliance required to rent out a property.

Many agencies throughout England and Wales viewed the Tenant Fee Ban as a doomsday-like event, with the revenue that has supplemented business models soon to be nothing more than a memory.

But, out of the increased regulation and legislation, will also come a greater need for industry professionals who can bridge the gap between the law of the land and the general public - helping landlords navigate through a world where the dos and don’ts are changing and it is more difficult to operate as an independent landlord than it has been in the past. The more complicated nature of the industry is reflected in the fact that 61% of landlords are now using professional letting agents, demonstrating the increased need for guidance.

It’s no surprise, then, that in a recent survey of 100 agents, 69% responded that they would like to prioritise keeping up with changing legislation over anything else - and as the list of changes grows, it will become even more important that agencies automate compliance processes where possible to ensure they keep up - whether that be by automatically sending up-to-date How to Rent Guides and deposit prescribed information, or updates to tenancy agreements.

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Helping your landlords stay abreast of changing legislation by alleviating them of these compliance tasks, can go a long way towards allowing you to elevate your current offering to landlords and cement yourself as that trusted advisor. This might ultimately prove a deciding factor as to whether a landlord opens up their full portfolio to your services or continues to use them.

Tom Kavanagh from Bloore, King & Kavanagh recently illustrated this very point regarding the use of insurance products, stating that landlords “might not understand why this is important, so we need to educate them” - the same applies to compliance. Landlords are going to need to lean on external advisors more and more, for help with everything from tax advice and estate planning to mortgage solutions and property insurance to understanding important changes to the industry, such as the effects of the Deregulation Act and HMO regulations. Online-only agents are simply not able to match this level of service - paving the way for compliance-savvy agents.

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