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It seems like everyday there’s another property news update about banning letting agent fees.

Everyone wants to make their point and have their say – and when money’s involved things seem to be getting uglier. – Agent says anti fees rally is a nasty witch hunt

For me here at InventoryBase I’m watching the debate unfold and hearing legitimate arguments on both sides.  So which way to go?

For someone like me, whose brain works in terms of solid data, streamlining systems and always improving functionality (basically – like a geek!) I wish someone would take control. Look at each argument, take out the emotional responses and start to build a picture of the ramifications of the decision.

Of course it will affect everyone involved – letting agents, landlords and tenants will all notice the effects of a ban but to what end?

Simply put, a ban on fees looks good for tenants and bad for landlords and agents. Tenants don’t pay out – result for them. Agents need to be paid to work so they will lose out.

However if agents need to be paid something they’ll turn to landlords to pay the fees when a new tenant is found.

And where do landlords get their money from? – Tenants. So rises in rent look very probable – bad for tenants.

I know how crude this summary is but it looks to me like nothing really changes – the money just reaches the agents through a different route.  So why all the fuss?

Now it can’t be as simple as I make it out to be – so again I wonder who’s going to sit down and logically think the decision through to all its possible variables?

Could a governmental body not come forward to research the outcomes of the ban? But now, even as I write this I wonder if any governmental party will be truly unbiased in their research and reporting process.

My brain is starting to hurt.

I guess it all comes down to what the purpose of the ban would be – is it to stimulate the rental market? Is it to level the playing field amoung agents? Again more questions.

So putting on my problem solving head – if it was categorically stated what the purpose of the ban is – then we could work backwards to achieve that outcome. Suddenly it all looks really simple. Am I missing something here?