Agent launches new petition calling for cap on letting fees to replace ban

A new petition has been launched, calling for a reverse of the proposed ban on letting agency fees charged to tenants.

Instead the petition calls for a cap on fees – conceding that some agents do charge “ludicrous fees to tenants”.

However, it goes on: “Tenant fees are a must to survive as a business. We will have to pass on our lost fees to landlords. Speaking to our landlords, they plan to raise their rents to cover their fees immediately.”

The petition has been launched by Rob Farrelly, who co-founded his business, Friend & Farrelly Property Services, in Loughton, Essex, eight years ago when he was 21.

Farrelly told us his firm currently charges a flat £350 plus VAT per property.

He said: “However, our proposal and thoughts are that a cap of £250 plus VAT per property would be a fair fee to cover any administration costs etc.

“I understand some agents have made huge profits with administration charges (charging up to £1,000) and this needs to stop. A cap means agents can still offer the same service to landlords and can still cover their own costs.”

 The petition runs until June 4 next year.

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/206569

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41 Comments

  1. Votta583

    Rob you have my full support!!!

    good on you

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    1. robfarrelly40

      Thank you very much!

      We we need to make our voices heard.  Please share the petition with family, friends and any other estate agents in your area… feel free to voice your opinion we need all of the help we can get.

      Thanks Again,

      Rob Farrelly

       

       

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    2. Philippocock08

      I recently wrote to the minister in charge of this regarding a fee cap and his office bluntly relied with NO. The problem is that they have no idea of what goes on in normal life let alone the amount of work we as agents do on behalf of tenants 

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  2. jeremy1960

    I have signed this as I feel it’s a sensible and measured approach,  something that ARLA and NALS should have organised.  Later today I shall forward the link to all the local agents in my area asking them to forward.

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    1. robfarrelly40

      Thank you for your support. The best thing we can do from here is share share share… 
       
      I absolutely agree and I will be contacting ARLA later today… 
       
      I can’t stress enough the need to share this petition via email, Facebook and so on… 
       
      Thanks Again,
       
      Rob Farrelly

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      1. sambo65

        I think as I always have that capping is a far fairer option, im struggling to sign it though as im still waiting for my confirmation email post signing, can anyone help o that as im desperate to send it to everyone I know including people not in this industry that agree with my views.

         

        Thanks

         

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  3. Lee25539791

    This is a sensible petition and I’ll sign it but the reason why fees are so hated and ultimately being banned is within this petition itself!

    Rob Farrelly charges £350 per property but by his own admission £250 is a fair fee so why does he charge higher than what he considers to be a fair fee?! It’s exactly this type of greed that has got us in this position in the first place.

    I run an agency in central London and charge £200 per property. No one has ever complained about this fee and we regularly receive comments from tenants how they see this as a fair fee.

     

     

     

     

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    1. robfarrelly40

      Hello, 
       
      Firstly thank you for your signature and your support.
      I appreciate your honesty and comments.
      I am sorry you see this as greed however I do not see this (£350) as an unreasonable fee.
      If a cap were to come into play we would look at changing our current procedures to cut down our costs to provide a similar service to our landlords.
      Thanks Again for signing and if you would be happy to share I would very much appreciate.
      Rob Farrelly

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    2. Votta583

      Lee it’s not greed it’s simply a case of covering business costs.

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  4. Mellor198057

    I have signed this petition Rob, and well done its a sensible idea. I have also emailed my local MP to state the same. No time for ARLA(Propertymark) or NALS.

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    1. robfarrelly40

      Thank you,
       
      SHARE SHARE SHARE facebook is a great platform and once this gets rolling it will not stop. It’s the only logical solution?!
       
      Thanks Again,
      Rob Farrelly

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  5. colin71

    I support a cap 100%, do I trust my fellow service providers to work together on this? Our local MP will be in my office by invitation in January 2018, will we all be doing this……

    As owner of Stuarts Property Services we charge a fee of £135+VAT. Our feedback and tenant comments speak for us. I have had one complaint about fees in 25 years, and that was not aimed at Stuarts. The fees charged by others have never been my concern, however when the industry wakes up unites maybe our fees will be accepted and respected. High time we as an industry showed some solidarity and leadership.

     

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    1. robfarrelly40

      Thank you Colin!
      I couldn’t agree more we need to stick together on this one and we can beat this- Please share share share! 
      Also, congratulations on 25 years of successful business! I look forward to that day!
      Rob Farrelly

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  6. jonnyswan73

    Rob, whilst I agree with all you say and will happily sign the petition and circulate I fear it’s a little too late…

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    1. robfarrelly40

      Thank you,
      To be honest I am shocked nothing like this has been available before now.
      Let’s hope your wrong, and let’s do everything we can to ensure you are!
      Thanks for circulating, this is the only way people will hear about this… make some noise- I intend to!
       
      Rob Farrelly

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      1. Votta583

        Rob, I’m all over this however the likes of NALs and ARLA are warned off such petitions unfortunately. I’d like to catch up with you on this as I’ve done a huge amount of work on the fee ban and I need someone like you to join forces with
        davidvotta@hotmail.co.uk 

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  7. Vicars04

    Signed…hope the government take notice. Colin71 – regarding meeting your MP, I met mine earlier in the year to discuss the fee ban and the potential financial impact for tenants, agents and landlords (as NALS etc suggested we do). The disinterest and general lethargy he showed during the half hour or so miffed me somewhat…then at the end of the meeting admitted that he himself was a tenant (rents from a landlord of mine with multiple rural properties) and (reading between the lines) had little sympathy for agents! Hope your meeting is more productive!

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    1. robfarrelly40

      Thank you
       
      Tenants do not understand is this fee will be passed onto landlords! In turn rent will be increased dramatically?! 
      I know I’m preaching to the converted but please just as important as signing share the post this needs to go viral for it to work!
      Thank you 
       
      Rob Farrelly 

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  8. NicVelli

    Signed!

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    1. robfarrelly40

      Thanks Nic!
       
      Please ask everyone you know in the industry to do the same and SHARE on Facebook, Linked in etc…
      We get enough backing and they will have to listen!
      Thanks again,
      Rob Farrelly

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      1. sambo65

        im not getting a link back to complete my signature ? anyone else having this issue |?

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        1. Vicars04

          Yes, didn’t get email link back either

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          1. robfarrelly40

            has this been sorted? I assume you checked junk mail etc? Please let me know and I will be sure to chase this…

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            1. sambo65

              Hi Rob

               

              Nope I’ve signed it again too but still no email link yet ?

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            2. sambo65

              Hi Rob

               

              Still no reply to confirm link through-desperate to ensure all my friends and my own votes are cast

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  9. femaleNeg8804

    signed and shared! LinkedIn & fb

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    1. robfarrelly40

      Amazing!
       
      Please have anyone that cares about your future to sign 😉 
       
      Thank you,
       
      Rob Farrelly

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  10. RichardHill61

    I hate to say it but it’s like locking the stable door after the horse has bolted! Valiant effort nonetheless!

    2 words:

    STUPID POLITITIANS!

    They have no idea how the lettings business works and how much impact the ban will have on the industry as a whole!

    A cap is a much fairer solution  but the ban will arrive without a shadow of doubt!

    A lot of business will become loss making over night, jobs will be lost and, yes, rents will rise!

    it doesn’t mean landlords will pick up the bill though! Far from it in fact….

    They have their own issues already caused by (see 2 words above!)

    Say you charge 10% managed and try to increase to 12.5% in an attempt to offset your loss in fees and rents go up unilaterally by  say 10%

    Don’t think your competition won’t still be offering 8% managed and don’t think that 4.5% saving on fees won’t persuade landlords to think about switching or just keeping you at 10% even if they get more rent!

    You may not agree but landlords are inherently greedy and just because you’re having a hard time it doesn’t mean they’re going to pick up the bill!

    You probably already charge them an admin or set up fee as it is!

    Perhaps that’ll be the next thing to be banned by the…..Yes you know where I am going!! See 2 words above

    Agree; well done for trying though! ALRA, NALS etc are a waste of space!

     

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    1. robfarrelly40

      Richard I LOVE your enthusiasm but also urge you to change your outlook! WE CAN MAKE A CHANGE and we will keep going until someone listens…

      The pure volume of signatures speaks for itself! PUSH PUSH PUSH this and for the first time ever… let the agents have a voice!

      Thanks for the support, please share the petition and lets keep the numbers rising!

      I have been contacted by many organisations including the biggest in the industry offering support,,, its not to late but we need the signatures

       

      Thanks Rob Farrelly

      Friend & Farrelly Property Services

       

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      1. RichardHill61

        They can’t even organise Brexit Rob!

        The fee ban is disastrous for the industry!

        Cap at £195 plus VAT but allow for inflation in your proposals – covers 1 applicant then £50 for each additional applicant!

        All the best

        Richard

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  11. Craig Bees

    Rob

    This is great and as others have said, it is astonishing that ARLA & the NAE have not done this before. I have signed and will email to other local agents today. Lets hope it has some impact.

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    1. robfarrelly40

      It will Craig, we just need the support! 
      The only people that truley understand what is happening are the agents… and no one is listening… because we need one voice. 
      Here we are… use it! Please do share with local agents, friends, family! 
      Thank you for your support Craig, but keep pushing and we will get to where we need to be to be heard! 
       
      Rob Farrelly
      Friend & Farrelly Property Services

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  12. davido

    Signed – *face slap* as to why the memberships have not organised this

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    1. robfarrelly40

      Because in thruth, they are not the ones that are going to lose their jobs… 
      Which is why we need to make an inpact- its clear from the support I have recieved this morning that they do want to help, but wont do the legwork… I am happy to… 
      Thanks for your support, please share petition and ask all friend/family/colleuges to share also…
      Kind Regards,
      Rob Farrelly
      Friend & Farrelly Property Services 

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  13. Estate_Agent_Memes

    Signed and posted to our 14000 plus Estate Agent Followers on our Facebook Page :0)

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    1. robfarrelly40

      Amazing… would you mind sharing your facebook page link so i can share this myself also..?
       
      This is what we need… Social media is so powerful… lets take advantage of that!
       
      Rob Farrelly
      Friend & Farrelly Property Services 

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      1. Estate_Agent_Memes

        Over 11,000 people reached here and plenty of likes, comments and shares! :0)
         
        https://www.facebook.com/estateagentmemes/posts/1475811529206135?comment_id=1476052762515345&notif_id=1512661274161816&notif_t=feed_comment

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  14. Peter

    I must confess to be very concerned about a fee ban and have held the view that a cap is a far more sensible approach to deal with this issue; yet, I am not rushing to sign the petition.

    I personally feel it is a lost cause, there is the political will power to see it through, but also, how does a cap work? As with a lot of ideas, it is not that simple to give a figure, say £200, and leave it like that. It will require regular reviews to allow for inflation. Also, what constitutes a fee as far as a cap is concerned? Reading a lot of the above emails, it seems Agent’s professional fees at commencement of a tenancy, yet the plan is to ban other charges to tenants, not just agent fees i.e. some charge for inventory and/or checkout, renewal agreements, providing end of tenancy references. Once these are included, there is nothing, or very little, available to apply an initial tenant fee.

    I am also beginning to wonder if, after the initial negative impact it will have on my business, that agents whose business model is based on cheap landlord fees / high tenant’s fees will need to swap the burden of charges, resulting in a more level playing field to those agents that derive most of their income from landlords.

    I think I will sit this one out and work with whatever I have to work with when known. In the meantime, I am just going to get on with letting properties.

    Season’s Greetings,

     

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  15. revilo

    Signed and shared…

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  16. James

    Too late I’m afraid. This horse has already bolted. Would love to be proved wrong but imo this has zero chance of success.

    It does however show up our regulatory bodies ARLA, and NALS as pathetic and toothless…though we all knew that anyway!

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    1. Votta583

      James please do say such comments about our regulatory bodies because they have done so much work on lobbying the government and protecting our fees. The trouble is you don’t see or hear about it unless you attend your regional ARLA meetings where it becomes apparent that ARLA and it’s reps are fighting this day and night. I’d be happy to give you a breakdown of the work that goes in to support letting agents across the U.K. 
      where do you live James? And who is your regional ARLA representative? Because you need to speak to them at your next regional meeting to get an idea of the work that goes in. I personally have spent the last two years fighting this but the government have their own agenda and it’s like flogging a dead horse!

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