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Shelter back on the warpath over letting agents' fees

Campaigning charity Shelter has returned to the warpath against letting agents’ fees.

This time the focus is on Wales, where the charity claims one in four renters who have used a letting agency “have been charged excessive fees.”

Campaigning literature from the charity claims: “Right now letting agents can charge renters whatever they want, on top of the fees that landlords pay them already. We think it is time for action. Fees are business costs, and they ought to be paid by the business or the landlord, the one profiting from the business of renting.

“One in four renters in Wales who have used a letting agency have been charged excessive fees. More than one in three have been charged over £200 in admin fees at the start of their tenancy. Some have been charged admin fees as high as one month’s rent plus VAT – and that’s on top of paying for the bond and rent in advance.”

Now the charity has launched an online survey for private tenants to reveal “hidden costs” they have been charged.

Shelter Cymru spokeswoman Jennie Bibbings says: “These letting agents fees are so unfair on tenants and are causing serious financial hardship when they have to find hundreds of pounds to cover the cost of moving. This makes renting impossible for some people, and finding good quality accommodation in the private rented sector well out of their reach.”

  • Adam Hosker

    "Right now letting agents can charge renters whatever they want" Shelter wants to decide what a business charges its customers?

    "Fees are business costs, and they ought to be paid by the business or the landlord" haha. The Agent charges The Landlord who charges The Tenant. The end customer always pays, be that in this case in higher rent.

    Shelter is a crazy socialist lobby group, its time it was known as such instead of a "charity". They waste good charitable funds which could have gone to charities that take action such as Crisis.

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    Tenants fees are not hidden costs as they have to be advertised upfront.

    When will this 'charity' realise that if these fees are passed on to the landlord, the landlord will increase the rent. Ultimately tenants will pay a lot more in the long run!

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    Shelter need to sit on what it's talking out of!

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