Campaigning to stop the lettings agency fees rip-off

Posted By on July 31, 2016

Swindon Housing Action Campaign is campaigning around a number of proposals which we are asking lettings agencies to adopt. We are calling on them to cut the extortionate costs that private tenants have to pay in order to get a tenancy. Here we explain how tenants are exploited and explain our proposals.

Swindon Housing Action Campaign has been investigating agency fees in Swindon. Lettings agencies are ripping off private tenants by charging fees which are certainly not justified by the amount of work they do. Nor is there any rationale for the considerable differences between rates for the same type of work charged by different agencies. The difference between the overall fees of agencies is substantial, from £200 to £497 for 1 person, from £240 to £622 for 2 adults. The average fee for one person (for the 33 agencies we have checked) is £292 and £362 for two. This means the financial burden is greatest on individuals. In the case of many agencies there is an additional fee to pay for ‘check out’ at the end of a tenancy so the overall fee for each tenancy is higher still.

Letting Agencies are taking advantage of the shortage of housing to exploit tenants. It should be borne in mind that they are also charging landlords for finding tenants and providing managing the property. So they take money on both sides of each letting and re-letting. To read the rest of the text and to find out how to help the campaign download this: lacampaign

This article has 3 comments

  1. You only have to ask on who’s behalf they are acting? They can’t be acting on behalf of both the landlord and potential tenent because of the conflict of interest.
    They should only charge the party they are acting for.

    • That’s right Bill. If you go to a job agency you don’t get charged by them. They charge the employer who they are providing a service for. Charges to tenants should be banned as they are in Scotland.

  2. This is exploitation of often young vulnerable people. With non secure tenancies people can be subjected to arrangement fees every 6 months.

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