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Graham Awards


High number of landlords claim agents charge too much

More than four in 10 landlords claim their letting agents charge too much - and one in six has been hit with an unexpected fee. 

The survey of 1,205 UK landlords commissioned by Total Landlord Insurance found that fifty seven per cent of landlords believe the fees they are charged by their letting agent are fair. 

However, forty two per cent believe agents  charge too much, and just one per cent believe that they should be charged more. 


On the plus side,  56 per cent of landlords rated the service provided by their letting agent as above average to excellent, while just eighteen per cent stated it was below average to poor. 

Sixty one per cent stated that they had never experienced a late rental payment, with the majority of those who have stating it was the fault of the tenant or another issue such as banking or technical problems. 

Leaving just five per cent to have had to wait for their rental income as a result of their letting agent. 

However, sixteen per cent did reveal that their agent has previously made unexpected deductions to rental income without discussing why before doing so. 

The most common reason given was for maintenance work on the property carried out by the agent's contractors, with additional management fees, a gas certificate, electrical safety checks and tenant finding fees also ranking high. 

Eddie Hooker, chief executive of the Hamilton Fraser Group - which owns Total Landlord Insurance - says: “I’m not entirely surprised by these results. Fees are always going to be a contentious issue, especially in the current climate, with many landlords still struggling financially from the impact of COVID on their tenants and added to this, now the cost of living crisis. 

“Many landlords have unfortunately had to foot the bill. 

“However, while some landlords may feel that the fees charged by their letting agent are too high, this survey shows that the majority do believe they pay a fair price.

“This is undoubtedly due to the perceived value they feel their agent brings and there’s no doubt that the quality of service provided is an area the industry has improved on in recent years.”

Hooker says one of the most prominent complaints is unexpected charges made to landlords by their agent. 

Hooker says one of the most prominent complaints is unexpected charges made to landlords by their agent. 

Hooker continues: “These disputes can quite often be avoided by clearer, more frequent communication. The majority of landlords don’t tend to dispute the charge itself, but the surprise nature of this reduction in rental income can often leave them in a problematic situation.

“Agents can help reduce these kinds of complaints by forewarning their landlord customers of any charges they may not be expecting. This will help landlords to manage their own financial obligations in advance and this in turn will prevent a dispute reaching the PRS redress scheme more often than not.

“And a final message is for landlords to routinely ask their agent whether their rental money is protected by client money protection insurance. Despite being a mandatory requirement for letting agents, many do not have this insurance which could leave landlords high and dry if their agent absconds with their rental monies.”

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    Do they expect a few service? As for being surprised by being charged for gas safety & electrical checks (they forgot EPC) that should have been explained at the start. If the rental is mortgaged then the landlord should keep at least one mortgage payment in reserve since problems do occasionally occur that are no fault of the agent or tenant.

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    Since letting agents have had their fees slashed they have turned to landlords to try and make up the difference. I'm afraid this government thinks money comes out of fresh air. Have no idea of cause and affect.

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    Good customer service and communication is key to keeping landlords happy, in my experience anyway!

    No surprise fees as they are forewarned bout any maintenance work and provided with quotes before the work commences.

    Our fees aren't the most expensive in the area and we do tailor make packages for landlords depending on what they need. The benefits of being an independent agent instead of a corporate chain I guess.

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    Croydon agent, this Communist government has forced letting fees to be cut by approx 50 %
    So where do you go ?


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