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Ethical Letting Agency launches with 'fair fees' claim

A “lettings agency with a conscience” that wants to put £30,000 into the local community over the next two years has launched with a claim that it will charge only “fair fees.”

The Ethical Lettings Agency in Redcar is a community interest company and a spokeswoman says: “There is no other agency that does what we do. We want to make a positive impact on the sector. We’re committed to reinvesting all our profits into the local community, through a grant programme for community groups.”

ELA’s schedule of charges to landlords includes £195 for finding a tenant or £250 for the finding service and sign-up. Income Management is nine per cent of monthly rent, while all-inclusive management is 14 per cent. 

The more radical schedule is the one for tenants. 

There is a £50 holding deposit when a tenant expresses an interest, to fund checks. £175 is charged to the tenant once a property is found and offered - this is a set figure, irrespective of the number of tenants named on the tenancy agreement. Unusually this £175 is waived if the tenant is in receipt of Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.

Other charges to tenants for one-off events range from £15 for a replacement copy of the tenancy agreement to £100 for an emergency repair call out that turns out to be a non-emergency.

"There are hundreds of thousands of landlords and over nine million people now living in privately rented homes, and yet there is no agency offering what our company will do” says Carla Keegans, director of the agency.

"Our ethos is to be transparent with tenants and landlords, where we will provide brilliant services, written agreements and have no hidden costs."

  • icon

    If those fees are 'ethical' then I am way too cheap. 350+ properties and I beat them on everything.

  • jeremy clarke

    Lost me here; where does ethical come into this? All agents now have to display their fees, this just looks like a bit of free advertising for a new, unproven agent with a "wish" to give up profits, I guess that if they make insufficient profit then that will just not happen? ethical would have been - give the money first and then blow your trumpets!

  • icon

    Ethical part surely comes in where it says they want to put £30k into the community, right?

  • Tom  Harrington

    All sounds well and good, I'd be intrigued to see how much they actually end up investing in the community and exactly what on though. The fees part, well that is the law, not a special thing which they're providing.

  • icon

    Easy Property (part of the Easyjet empire) charges tenants a flat fee of £50. That's all. Hopefully the agents who still think it's ok to invent fees of £300 for photocopying one piece of paper will be put out of business before long.

  • Property  Guru

    Been doing cheap and fair since 2009. There is plenty of business for everyone. We charge £200 and refund £150 if the tenants fails credit check. We only take ONE fee per property unlike most. 247 manage branches to ensure a fair fees policy is checked and this can be overridden by head office if the tenant complains and the branch has been unfair giving the branch Zero option if its wrong then its wrong. So simple.

  • Neil Andrew

    Wait, £175 is ethical?! Wow, we must be doing this all wrong!

    We're a new, actual ethical lettings agent who don't charge ANY tenancy fees at all... That's ethical, £175 certainly is not! We're also setting up as a CIC to invest in the local community - this article just screams marketing to me for this quite frankly overcharging agency!

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