Letting agents charge tenants and landlords fees for drawing up tenancy agreements to carrying out credit checks and taking payments.
Most people agree that some fees are appropriate, given that a letting agent does perform some duties, but a recent survey carried out by the Citizens Advice Bureau has found that the general public as a whole believes tenant fees should be banned and tenants should only pay a small, nominal fee if they want to rent a property.
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Tenants pay, on average, £337 per person, yet ARLA believes a fee of £200 per person is a more realistic figure. In some cases, letting agents charge tenants and landlords for the same checks, so they earn the same amount, twice.
The CAB survey found that 46% of people thought tenants should not pay anything other than one month’s rent in advance, plus a reasonable deposit. 61% also thought tenants should pay no more than £50 to rent a property.
Landlords Charged Hefty Fees
The truth is that it is hard to defend a system whereby tenants are charged several hundred pounds to rent a property. Often, charges are opaque and tenants don’t have a clue what the “admin fee” actually covers. Landlords are also charged hefty fees by some letting agents.
There is evidence to suggest that many tenants are approaching private landlords directly in order to save money. Social media makes it easy to find landlords and vacant properties, which is good news for landlords.