City centre councillors have given their backing to Shelter’s campaign to end letting agency fees.
Shelter is calling for an end to letting agency fees, which could be pushing renters into debt.
Shelter carried out mystery shopping with 58 letting agencies across the country and found that all of them charged renters fees to set up a tenancy, on top of deposits and rent in advance.
Average fees charged were almost £350, with almost a third of agencies charging renters more than £400 to set up a tenancy, and a further seven charging more than £700.
These charges are in spite of the fact that letting agencies typically receive separate fees from landlords to set up a new tenancy on their behalf.
In some of the letting agencies investigated by Shelter, fees charged to renters - sometimes hundreds of pounds – weren’t refunded even when, through no fault of their own, the deal didn’t go ahead.
Separate research commissioned by Shelter found that:
- 1 in 4 people who have dealt with a letting agency in the last three years said they had to borrow money to pay for fees.
- 1 in 6 reported cutting down on food or heating to meet the cost of fees.
- 1 in 4 say that letting fees have stopped them from getting a new home.
Shelter is petitioning politicians to end letting agency fees charged to renters to set up a tenancy, including ‘administration’ fees, ‘holding’ fees, credit check fees and ‘check-in’ fees.
City centre councillors Kevin Peel and Joan Davies said:
“We’re delighted to see this issue gain some national attention as we have seen the effects of exorbitant agency fees on residents in the city centre.
We support Shelter’s campaign wholeheartedly and will continue working with Lucy Powell MP to deal with the other serious issue of poor managing agents.”
Join Shelter’s campaign to end letting fees. Sign the petition