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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Scandal as letting agent ‘charges £300 to view properties’

The BBC claims that a lettings agency has been demanding hundreds of pounds in payment before prospective tenants are allowed to view properties for rent.

The BBC accuses Flintons lettings agency in London of the act, and says it may be illegal.

The agency denies any wrongdoing.

The Victoria Derbyshire programme on BBC Two says Israel Kujore and his friend Harry responded to one of Flintons's adverts.

“He said they had gone to see an agent who had told them they needed to pay a deposit to see a room but that the money would be refundable” says a BBC report.

“They had paid £300 each to see a property, but Israel soon realised something was wrong” it continues.

The BBC also quotes Labour’s housing spokeswoman Melanie Onn calling for the government to give greater protection to renters.

"Letting agents as well as landlords should be properly regulated," she said.

"Of the 8,000 letting agents we've got around the country, only about half of those are voluntarily signed up to a code that means that they will operate to the highest professional standards. That means that half of them are not."

You can see a BBC Online report of the story here.

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  • James Scollard

    A bit like Purple Bricks, they charge £300 for viewings.

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    Surely if it is refundable it is not a charge and they get it back, £300 is over the top but maybe they get fed up of time wasters. I am not saying its right but does every agent not get fed up with no shows.

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    Today's most read article on BBC News - not good for the industry.

  • Andrew Hill

    We are thinking of implementing something similar (we're looking at the £40 mark). The number of tenant no shows we get is ridiculous and with the tenant fee ban, we need to get some money in from somewhere for the services we provide to tenants.

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    Applicant no shows is down to poor diary management surely, we have s system in place that has work for the last few years with virtually no NO-SHOWS,,

  • David Robinson

    "only about half of those are voluntarily signed up to a code that means that they will operate to the highest professional standards. That means that half of them are not"

    Massive sweeping assertion!

    There are plenty of agencies who haven't signed up to a voluntary code because they already operate professionally and ethically, often regulated by the RICS and members of ARLA.

  • James Robinson

    Why not?
    Surely it is the tenants choice whether they use there service? Afterall its exactly how property finders and relocation agents operate.

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    So if your signed up your guaranteed to be professional? Really. Mind you MP's are so honest arent they? No qualifications needed. Looming after their own interests. They should be regulated.

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