A spokesman for the mortgage firm Ocean Finance has made a startlingly outspoken attack on the private rental sector, accusing letting agents of charging “rip off” fees.
Gareth Shilton, spokesperson for Ocean Finance, says that “tenants are facing rip-off fees from letting agents, not just to take new tenancy agreements, but also to roll-on an existing tenancy for another six or 12 months.”
Shilton claims that as demand for rented properties continues to outstrip supply, many people “struggle to get on to the housing ladder” with “landlords in a strong position to continue to increase rents each time a tenancy agreement ends.”
He says that a survey of 2,000 people across Britain shows that 60 per cent of tenants saw their rent increase at the end of their tenancy, with the hike typically being an average £84 per month or £1,008 per year.
The survey also apparently shows that, in Ocean Finance’s words, 13 per cent of tenants are “hit with fees to extend their existing contracts” with the average charge being £117.
The survey also shows that over half of tenants stay in the same house for five years or more, thus apparently paying almost £600 in letting agents’ fees as contracts are renewed.