In today’s fast moving environment it is vital that lettings businesses are both fully compliant with the myriad of legislation affecting the sector and are maximising the commercial opportunities available, particularly as commercial pressures and legislation are impacting significantly.
Tenant Fee Ban (Tenant Fee Act 2019)
Research shows that letting agents have seen, on average, around 15% of revenues disappear since the tenant fee ban came into effect on June 1st 2019. This is clearly significant and potentially devastating. Replacing revenues, cutting costs, developing new propositions is vital. Change is always challenging to manage and takes time - so don't delay - get on the case now - the Lettings Health Check will identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for you to action.
Many clients that I work with have actually managed to increase their fee income signioficantly despite the tenant fee ban.
Client Money Protection, Energy Efficiency, Electrical Safety Regulations and Fitness for Human Habitation
It became mandatory from April 2019 for letting agents to have CMP (Client Money Protection) in place and from April 2020 for all rental properties to have an energy efficiency rating of E or above. In addition, the Fitness for Human Habitation Act became law. 2020 will see new electrical safety requirements and the provision of safety certificates on all residential lets.
These rqeuirements are mandatory and require complaince but they also present excellent comemrcial opportunities for agents and property managers.
Ombudsman Code of Conduct - Referral Fees
To coincide with the Tenant Fee Act, The Property Ombudsman introduced a new code of conduct whcih makes it a mandatory requirement for agenst to disclose any referral fees, commission or other "secret profits"
National Trading Standards have made it clear that they will use Consumer Protection Regulations to prosecute agenst who fail to comply.
Failure to comply with lettings legislation could have a devastating effect on a business and its owner(s) with failures in some areas carrying significant penalties including fines and imprisonment. In addition, shortcomings could result in compensation payments and awards being levied through the courts or redress schemes or an inability to enforce terms of business and secure fees.
Good business practice is vital but does not exclude ensuring that the business maximises the commercial opportunities that exist from a well-delivered portfolio of services and products.
If you are operating a lettings business you need to ensure compliance and good business practice whilst not missing out on fee earning opportunities and that is where The Lettings Health Check comes in.
The Lettings Health Check is a detailed audit of your lettings business concentrating on compliance and commerciality.
The Lettings Health Check can be offered as two separate sections - compliance or commerciality - or at a reduced collective cost, the full report.
Dependent upon location and diary commitments, The Lettings Health Check will be undertaken by Michael Day MBA FRICS FNAEA FARLA
As well as a review of the entire lettings business operation, we will undertake an audit of a selection of property files to ensure compliance with legislation, regulation and codes of conduct. This will involve a detailed site visit as well as desktop research.
We will also undertake a review of current products and services, fees and commissions and highlight areas where practical opportunities exist to increase revenues, reduce costs and increase margins.
We engaged Michael Day of Integra Property Services to carry out a Lettings Health Check of our business and this was undertaken in August 2018.
Michael attended our offices and spent a full working day interviewing staff, auditing files and company procedures. He also undertook some desktop research and looked at much of our documentation and reviewed our website. In addition, he looked at our current commercial arrangements in regards supplier agreements, and the fees and charges, revenue and profit from ancillary income streams.
We subsequently received a very detailed but easy to digest report from Michael that highlighted his findings and made 112 recommendations and provided a template business plan for future action.
The recommendations ranged from a couple of essential compliance matters to a number of commercial business opportunities and we have subsequently reviewed and put in place a programme of improvement. As well as helping us “de-risk” our business and ensure compliance with the myriad of legislation, we believe we are much better placed to generate greater volumes of business and greater revenues which, given the impending tenant fee ban, will be essential.
My business partner Darren, myself and all the staff were delighted with the positive and solution conscious approach taken by Michael and feel that our business is in a much stronger position as a result of having invested in an independent review – the Lettings Health Check.
Chris Harper - Partner
As an independent firm of Chartered Surveyors, we were seeking a professional third party objective overview of our Lettings business to assist in forming its future strategy.
Michael’s approach was thoroughly professional, helpful and informative and his advice and report subsequently given certainly achieved our initial objective.
Since his visit he has remained readily available for further discussion and we continue to implement a variety of his recommendations. We would not hesitate to recommend Michael’s services.
Kate Trewhella - Partner
We have been using Michael Day & his company for regulation compliance & business planning for a number of years now and he recently completed a very detailed Lettings Health Check for us.
This resulted in us making a number of positive changes to our operation. Michael is always very knowledgeable, informative & helpful to all of us at Frank Schippers Estate Agents and we would have no hesitation in recommending him.
Frank Schippers - Proprietor
Each Lettings Health Check will result in a detailed report and draft business plan that the business can use as a template for improvement.
The Lettings Health Check could be the best investment you make in your lettings business - to discuss further or to book a Lettings Health Check – please call or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to being of assistance to you.