The controversial tenants union Acorn has set up a web page where disgruntled renters can lodge complaints about letting agents.
In the past Acorn, which campaigns in major cities on behalf of private tenants, has held demonstrations outside lettings agents’ offices; the organisation has been at its most active in Bristol in recent years, where it has claimed responsibility for persuading the local Labour council to introduce landlord licensing in 12 wards of the city.
Now in its latest criticism of the rental industry, the website says: “For years letting agents arbitrarily charged tenants extortionate fees for whatever they could think of – signing a tenancy, printing a contract, reference checks, you name it.
“We even heard of one that charged a ‘collection fee’ for the effort it cost them to collect all their other fees. Exploitative agents often charged tenants hundreds of pounds just for doing their job.
“After years of campaigning the government finally changed the law, banning most fees to tenants.
“Letting agent fees have been illegal since 1st June 2019, but some are still trying to flout the law. ACORN won’t stand for it.
“We’re mounting a #siezethefees fightback! If you find an agent trying to flout the law, tell us using this form.”