Over four in ten tenants being charged £298 in fees every time they move house | Discuss

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Over four in ten tenants being charged £298 in fees every time they move house
19/01/2015
11:56 am
News @ Tenant Referencing
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Over four in 10 PRS tenants in the UK are being hit by an average of £298 in letting agent and landlord fees every time they move home, a survey has revealed.

According to a poll of 4,000 flat and house sharers by SpareRoom.co.uk tenants are typically asked for a deposit of £840 and a month’s rent in advance on top of letting agent fees – meaning that in total tenants in the PRS are being hit with upfront costs of £1,700 every time they move home.

According to SpareRoom, the vast costs explain why 87% of tenants would rather deal directly with landlords, who typically charge lower fees than letting agents, or none at all.

The most common fees are for ‘admin costs’. Two thirds (66%) of those who paid fees when moving into their current home were forced to cover admin costs. Of those who paid fees, half (50%) said they were charged to reserve a room or property once they decided to take it, while almost half (47%) said they were charged for drawing up tenancy agreements and/or inventories.

Matt Hutchinson, director of SpareRoom.co.uk, said: “Nothing unites renters quite like a shared hatred of unexplained tenancy fees. So much so they’ve already been made illegal in Scotland.

“Most tenants have to find a deposit before they get their last one back from their previous landlord, so adding almost £300 in fees to the equation can make the difference between being able to afford to move and having to stay put.

“In the wider world, consumers get to choose which supplier to use based on a variety of factors, including price and service but, when it comes to renting, tenants have no choice but to use the agent marketing the property they want. This means most have little choice over whether they pay fees or not. As of April 2014, agents must, by law, publish a full tariff of their fees. Although this means greater transparency for tenants, the government still isn’t doing enough to clamp down on excessive or unfair fees. Always ask landlords and agents about fees upfront and negotiate as early on in the process as possible.”

Seb Klier, policy manager of tenant campaign group Generation Rent, said: “In the search for a new home, letting fees come way down the list of things that renters look for, effectively giving letting agents a captive market to exploit with a wide range of spurious charges. By ending fees for tenants and making landlords alone pay for the services of agents, government would make it cheaper for renters to move and help to create a genuinely competitive lettings market.”

Through our system you can carry out the most comprehensive tenant referencing in the UK, complete with the UK’s only Tenant History Reports, for as little as £5.86 + VAT as well as registering your tenant’s deposit with MyDeposit and carrying out an inventory with Magni-Eye.

That means that through our website landlords and letting agents can offer tenants more than most letting agents offer for less than £35 whilst staying in complete control of every step of the process.

As well as providing all these services on our Management Dashboard we offer inclusive landlord insurance products to reduce the risk to your income, your investment and your pension. Find out more here and don’t hesitate to call us on 0800 9994 994 with any questions or queries.

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19/01/2015
1:24 pm
David Price
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Tenants are lucky to be charged so little.  Last time I moved it cost me many thousands of pounds in solicitors fees estate agents fees and stamp duty.

19/01/2015
1:42 pm
Beth
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I think the difference here though (from a tenant’s point of view) is that once you’ve bought that house you can choose to stay there for years and years if you want to and not have to pay those fees again but as a tenant you don’t always have that choice.

19/01/2015
1:54 pm
Paul Routledge
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Home owners have to pay huge fees when purchasing a home Beth, they pay estate agents fees solicitors cost, disbursements and if they have a mortgage usually arrangement fess and  not to mention massive stamp duty tax to the government for the privilege of buying a home.

I would imagine the minimum cost is £5k and when you get up in the top bracket it runs into the 100’s of thousands.

19/01/2015
7:51 pm
Karren
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I am totally unsympathetic when it comes to tenants paying fees as LL’s also get hit with fees when renting out properties. I don’t actually know what my tenants paid apart from the £50 holding fee whilst they had their <enter  disgusted snort>  “references” checked and then the first months rent plus bond. I got hit with almost £300 fees myself though by the time the VAT was added on. I would say that in most cases the willingness to pay those fees shows they are able to pay the rent too but a quick look on gumtree shows far too many wanted ads with ” private landlord only, no agencies” for my liking as I am now suspicious of everyone wanting to rent. Cry

24/01/2015
2:21 pm
Gavin
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I don’t understand why there is such a fuss over tenant fees. I am a letting agent and the referencing we do costs £60. Why should i offer this service for free when it takes up my time and costs me money to get these references. It’s like going to a restaurant and complaining that you have to pay for the food. 

24/01/2015
2:30 pm
Paul Routledge
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Gavin said
I don’t understand why there is such a fuss over tenant fees. I am a letting agent and the referencing we do costs £60. Why should i offer this service for free when it takes up my time and costs me money to get these references. It’s like going to a restaurant and complaining that you have to pay for the food. 

Gavin totally agree, It seems when it comes to landlords and letting agents we are all supposed to be charitable trusts. I say if you don’t like the costs don’t take the service..

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