Tenants in London face inflated lettings fees

Tenants in London are allegedly being ripped off by some estate agents who are imposing inflated or unexplained fees, an investigation by financial website This Is Money found.
 
The report, based on 'mystery shopping' at some of the UK's biggest agents, discovered that tenants in the capital are facing extortionate costs purely for setting up a tenancy agreement. Meanwhile other firms were issuing £30 fines for leaving furniture 'out of place,'dailymail.co.uk writes.
 
There are now fears that such practices - traditionally flaunted in London, where the rental market is 'red-hot' - may spread to other parts of the country as dishonourable agents take advantage of the demand for lets. The news certainly highlights the benefits of using an online letting agents service, which may prove to be a more secure way in which to facilitate the lettings process.
 
According to lettingagenttoday.co.uk, This Is Money investigated nine London-based agents, including Savills, Winkworth, Strutt & Parker, Hamptons, haart, Knight Frank, Kinleigh Folkard & Haywards, Black Katz and Foxtons.
 
The report found that Foxtons was guilty of charging £420 in tenancy agreement costs, while haart was vague about the fees it charged. Savills refused to disclose charges as doing so was 'against policy'. Hamptons admitted to a 'discretionary charge' to 'encourage furniture to its original position'.
 
Responding to the investigation, the Association of Residential Letting Agents said that agents could charge what they deemed fit, based on geography and services rendered.
 

Its advice was thus: 'For landlords and tenants alike, it is important to obtain clear, written information from an agent about exactly which services any fee includes, when it must be paid and whether there are likely to be any additional fees charged in the future.'Tenants in London are allegedly being ripped off by some estate agents who are imposing inflated or unexplained fees, an investigation by financial website This Is Money found. The report, based on 'mystery shopping' at some of the UK's biggest agents, discovered that tenants in the capital are facing extortionate costs purely for setting up a tenancy agreement. Meanwhile other firms were issuing £30 fines for leaving furniture 'out of place,'dailymail.co.uk writes. There are now fears that such practices - traditionally flaunted in London, where the rental market is 'red-hot' - may spread to other parts of the country as dishonourable agents take advantage of the demand for lets. The news certainly highlights the benefits of using an online letting agents service, which may prove to be a more secure way in which to facilitate the lettings process. According to lettingagenttoday.co.uk, This Is Money investigated nine London-based agents, including Savills, Winkworth, Strutt & Parker, Hamptons, haart, Knight Frank, Kinleigh Folkard & Haywards, Black Katz and Foxtons. The report found that Foxtons was guilty of charging £420 in tenancy agreement costs, while haart was vague about the fees it charged. Savills refused to disclose charges as doing so was 'against policy'. Hamptons admitted to a 'discretionary charge' to 'encourage furniture to its original position'. Responding to the investigation, the Association of Residential Letting Agents said that agents could charge what they deemed fit, based on geography and services rendered. Its advice was thus: 'For landlords and tenants alike, it is important to obtain clear, written information from an agent about exactly which services any fee includes, when it must be paid and whether there are likely to be any additional fees charged in the future.'

Author: Properties ABC