UK letting agency fees 'rip off tenants'

Leading housing charity Shelter has begun a campaign to try and stop letting agency fees in the UK, which are costing renters hundreds of pounds just to set up a tenancy.

Shelter carried out a survey with 58 letting agencies across the UK and found that all of them required high fees from renters in order to secure a tenancy and also demanded deposits and rent before-hand.

The average fees being charged were around £350, but almost a third of the agencies wanted more than £400 from renters and seven demanding over £700. These charges are required by letting agencies even though they typically receive separate payments from landlords to set up a new rent contract on their behalf.

Shelter also investigated some letting agencies that charged renters, sometimes hundreds of pounds and were not compensated, even when a deal didn’t go through.

The charges that Shelter wishes to call on politicians to end include administration fees, holding fees, credit check fees and check-in fees, which are all currently costing renters.