Rentify Research: Astronomical and opaque letting agent fees

New research conducted here at Rentify has revealed just how extortionate average letting agent fees are. The charges just for renting a one-bedroom apartment in London could go as high as a staggering £600 (an agent in East Ham) with the average for the capital coming out at £220. The picture is not much rosier elsewhere in the UK: Bristol has the highest average fees of £251 and Liverpool the lowest with £137, which is still the equivalent of 6 weeks food shopping for the average person. Here are Rentify’s full findings: UK Letting Agent Fees Infographic

These figures are especially outrageous given how opaque they are. Agents are often wholly disingenuous about what the fees are paying for. We found that any additional fees that are charged on top of the standard deposit and one month’s advance rent are contributed to drafting the tenancy agreement and credit and reference checks. As experts in this field ourselves, we cannot understand how they justify such charges for this work. In fact our own calculations put the average hourly rates of such letting agents in London at £146! The average fee for a credit check was £50 and when you consider Rentify charges just £15 for a full credit and reference check you can begin to see how extortionate these averages are.

Agents sometimes also pass these charges onto the landlord, so making double the profit. The lack of transparency surrounding letting agent fees is staggering and it’s the main reason behind calls for greater regulation, which may well lead to further price hikes for tenants and landlords. The way to fight these astronomical fees is by making transparency and fairness the norm. Landlords and tenants alike must challenge agents and demand clarification on how their money is being spent. And with companies such as Rentify now addressing these serious problems in the sector, landlords have the option of saying ‘no’ to the traditional agents and their unfair fees.

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