October 25, 2023 6:56 am

Insert Lead Generation
Nikka Sulton

Uncovering Agent Renewal Fee Overcharges. Hello Neighbour, a forward-thinking online lettings platform, is taking a stand against traditional high street letting agents and their perceived excessive fees, which, it contends, amount to a wasteful expenditure of landlords’ funds.

In the bustling rental property market of London and various southern England regions where the platform currently operates, there are over one million rental properties. Among them, an estimated 760,000 properties rely on the services of these conventional agents. Hello Neighbour’s mission is to challenge the status quo and provide a more cost-effective, efficient, and transparent alternative for both landlords and tenants in this competitive property landscape.

The platform’s emergence signifies a growing shift within the property industry, with online platforms aiming to simplify and streamline the letting process while reducing costs for landlords and ensuring a fair deal for tenants. As London and the South remain hotspots for property investment, Hello Neighbour’s stance on excessive fees is gaining attention, sparking a wider conversation about the value of traditional agent services versus the advantages of modern, online solutions.

According to Hello Neighbour, the typical London tenant tends to stay in their rental property for an average of two years. This, in turn, results in landlords being obligated to pay renewal fees on around 380,000 properties annually. What’s more, the platform contends that these fees typically amount to approximately 8.5 percent, including VAT. To put it in perspective, for an average monthly rent of £2,500 in London, landlords are essentially shelling out an extra £2,550 to letting agents for the mere renewal of existing tenants. This situation becomes all the more concerning when you consider that this fee is just for the second year, and as Hello Neighbour points out, “If a landlord is lucky enough to keep the tenant for a third year, the cost keeps on adding up.”

In response to these concerns, Hello Neighbour is initiating a Stop Renewal Fees campaign, inviting individuals to sign up in support of this cause. To do so, you’ll need to provide your contact details to join this campaign against what they perceive as an unjust financial burden on landlords.

Phil Shelley, the chairman of Hello Neighbour, is passionate about addressing the issue at hand. He emphasizes, “For too long, high street agents have taken advantage of landlords by charging fees for things that just aren’t fair – especially renewal fees. It’s crazy to think that landlords are handing over this kind of money every time their tenants simply choose to stay in their home for another year.”

He delves into the incongruity of penalizing landlords for offering excellent properties that tenants want to continue residing in. This, in turn, results in the rise of rental costs, a necessity for many landlords to sustain their investments. In essence, this situation places a burden on both landlords and tenants, while letting agents see their revenues perpetually on the rise.

Hello Neighbour, founded in 2018 and currently operating in key regions such as London, Brighton, Oxford, Guildford, and Reading, is determined to address this problem. They are set to launch a self-service offering in January, extending their services to cover the entirety of the UK.

The platform’s campaign against renewal fees aims to shed light on what they perceive as an unfair practice in the property rental industry. According to their analysis, the average tenant in London stays in their rental property for approximately two years, which results in landlords paying renewal fees for around 380,000 properties each year.

Hello Neighbour further contends that the average fee, which includes VAT, stands at approximately 8.5 percent. In real terms, for an average monthly rent of £2,500 in London, landlords are paying an additional £2,550 to letting agents for their current tenants to simply renew their lease. This cost, the platform argues, is incurred only for the second year, and if a tenant stays for a third year, the financial burden escalates.

As a response to these issues, Hello Neighbour is launching a Stop Renewal Fees campaign. Those in agreement with the campaign can express their support by providing their contact details. This campaign aims to raise awareness and encourage dialogue around the renewal fee structure, potentially prompting changes within the industry to benefit both landlords and tenants.

With the self-service offering set to launch in January, Hello Neighbour is taking an innovative approach to property management. By expanding its reach across the UK, it hopes to provide a solution that eliminates the perceived unfairness surrounding renewal fees and other related challenges within the industry.



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