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.”