Government to ban agents’ fees

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There’s some huge news for renters in today’s Autumn Statement. The government has announced plans to scrap all letting fees charged to tenants ‘as soon as possible.’

That means when you move, all you can be asked to pay is your first month’s rent and a deposit. No more charges for credit checks, inventories or admin fees. Those will now have to be paid by the landlord.

Unsurprisingly, when we asked SpareRoom users earlier this year whether you were in favour of this change, 92% of you said yes. Surprisingly, 75% of landlords also agreed.

Scotland already scrapped letting fees charged to tenants in 2012 – now England and Wales will follow suit, after the chancellor’s surprise announcement today.

We’ll update you when we know more about when these will come into effect. In the meantime, tell us your experiences of letting fees in the comments below.

116 thoughts on “Government to ban agents’ fees

  1. Of course landlords will approve. They will cover charges and add double to the rent. The agencies will continue to rake in their exorbitant fees and the landlords will earn more rent. Win win for them and renters will bear the cost under another guise. The only benefit to tenants will be spreading the cost of the fees over the life of the rent assuming they move house regularly ie every 12 months and even then they’ll still be out of pocket.

    Wonderful news. Cheers Phil…

    1. That’s a rather dim outlook on things. You could also argue that the only way for the agencies to cover these lost costs is to increase their fees, which could in turn stop landlords from using them and to look elsewhere eventually driving agency fees down and keeping rents more stable….

      1. To accuse him of having in “dim” view is nothing more than sour grapes on your part. It is weak attempt to appear to give tenant’s a break, when it merely hides it. Too bad if an accurate assessment offends you. Grow up.

      2. I agree with you. This would also result in landlords using their own people to do all the admi work rather than relying on separate agencies. Thus, the business of agency will literally go down deeper and big relief for tenants.

      3. Lol think ur a bit niave im already preparing to increase rent £100 month to cover these costs. many of my landlord friends also doing same + had three letting agents contact via email each trying to out do other letting agents – cost to me can only come down 2 me! This is a win win situation for london landlords – my properties are let on 1st day of been vacant with a waiting list of potential tenants in case falls through

      4. Arthur, you’re going to charge an extra £100 per MONTH? That’s absurd – letting agencies only charge a fee at the start of the contract (or renewal) and it’s nowhere near £1,200…

      5. Phil is completely right – as a Landlord I do not appreciate my prospective tenants having to pay exorbitant fees to agents and often waive the fees and do the checks myself rather than lose a good tenant. I also agree if agents put their fees up – Landlords will look elsewhere – the market is flooded with agents; they are not in a position to dictate terms. This is good news for tenants, supported by decent landlords and only agents will lose out – which in my opinion is fair as the fess are becoming ridiculous, and never use to exist at all.

    2. Estate agents and letting agents are all non professionals anyone can set up an agency no qualifications required

      1. A letting agent must be a member of one of three organisation.
        The Property Ombudsmen
        Ombudsmen Services:Property
        The Property redress Scheme.
        These are places the Tenant can go to if the have a grievance with their agent.
        It is compulsory to be a member of one of these and advisable to be a member of the Association of Residential Lettings Agents.
        Again with ARLA they are they to help regulate the industry.

    3. Its good news in one way because there is lots of people out there who just cant get there hands on the fees.
      The rents are badly high in the first place.
      So they cant put them up to much otherwise they will never get the greedy rents they are asking for know.
      Because most people find them hard to find as it is in london because its the most expensive rip off in the country.p

    4. YES YES YES THIS IS BEEN WELCOMED BECAUSE SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE BEING FORCED TO BE IN THE AREA WHERE ARE NOT HAPPY SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY DO NOT HAVE THOSE FEES TO MOVE. BUT IF IT COMES INTO ACT WE WILL BE MORE FREELY TO MOVE WHERE WE PREFER TO GO. THANK YOU FOR THIS PROPOSAL. I WISH IT COMES INTO ACTION NOW NOT LATER.

    5. Cristian, so true! ! We know how it works! Tenants would pay in one way or another as u said. They really thing ppl are ignorant, can’t see what’s obvious. They r just desguising !! As usual…as always! !

    6. Them and us as it always. Will be the gap is getting bigger agents and landlords have always been ruthless and greedy so is the government as long as it does not affect their pocket that’s all they worry about I’m afraid it will never change greed greed greed

    7. I agree. Of course landlords will raise the rent charged to cover the costs incurred by having the agents fee charged to them instead of the tenant. We are not daft and can forsee the outcome of the brilliant wheezes our government (of any party who happens to be in power) dreams up.

    8. Being a landlord for over thirty years and having a very good relationship with my tenants, I am astonished at how a landlord cannot keep the deposit anymore or must register it and pay a charge. We are required to see if someone is legally entitled to rent in this country and if not can be committing a criminal act, a huge increase in paperwork, EPC Certificates, Gas checks, Electrical certification, Licensing charges from Councils, Furniture fire regulations, Pat testing electrical goods etc etc
      Any profit is taxed and any growth in the property price is subject then to capital gains tax.
      It is not classed as a business but investment so that landlords cannot claim costs like other businesses.
      Yes stamp out rogue landlords but decent landlords should be treated fairly.
      I’m glad I’m coming to the end of my career and would not advise anyone to enter the market.
      Your money can do a lot better somewhere else

      1. Roll on the day when interest rates soar that will put all of you characters making money out of other peoples hard graft in a panic

    9. Speaking from a landlord who has looked into agencies to manage renting we are the ones who charge us fees and then tenants we have no control over what they do. They sneakily charge us fees then you too. There the crooks not us

    10. It seems also stupid to charge a months rent many homelets and low paid clients can’t pay such large sums it’s all geared to profit not creating decent housinget for family’s or individuals

    11. Agents sometimes charge several prospective tenants a ‘credit check’ fee which is non refundable. 10 tenant s × £150=£1500. 9 tenants refused. Actual fee paid by agent to credit check £10.00. Only one check carried our=£1490 profit before other fees and landlords commission. And that’s on one property!

      It’s been a massive scam for years. That’s why action is being taken. About time.

    12. Actually Christian, the market dictates rent just as it dictates the price of a Mars Bar, a litre of petrol or YOUR salary.

      Successive governments have demonised landlords to deflect attention from the facts that:-

      (a) tightening of lending criteria has left young people in a situation where rents are substantially more expensive than mortgages.

      (b) they encouraged young people to go to uni. who then come out with some pointless degrees that might well have been interesting but are otherwise useless in the employment market; HUGE student debts further entrap them into renting. Also, five extra years in education = five years lost earnings (School leaving age was 16; it’s now 18 + 3 years at uin.- there’re the five years.)

      (c) planning restrictions stop sensible development and contributed to a fundamental housing shortage.

      (d) stamp duty on “Buy-To-Let” properties are discouraging new private investors, thus leading to a further shortage of rental properties; leading to higher rents.

      (e) new tax rules on mortgage interest are causing many private sector landlords to sell up AGAIN leading to a further shortage of rental properties; leading to higher rents. (There you go Christian – buy one of those properties; Oh ! wait a minute ! Are you one of those that has been shafted by government policy???) NOTE – I’m selling-up because I can’t set my costs against my income (i.e. I can’t offset mortgage interest) – so eight people will lose the lovely rooms in a VERY GOOD area – one person will get a home – so that’s 8 out, 1 in …………………….. 7 seeking other homes ………………… how does that help anybody???

      SOON the only landlords left will be those who rent sub-standard property in bad areas.

      Add to the above, the effect of demographic changes viz. more single people means more individual housing units are required. Thanks Emmeline Spankhurst! (WHO – in their right mind would get married these days!!! – FAR TOO RISKY)

      HOWEVER – the reason that I’m pleased about this rule is that I have heard of horrific stories about agents who charge fees to multiple tenants for the same property, in the full knowledge that the property has already been taken. I hope this will put rogue agents out of business.

      ACTUALLY – FORGET THE ABOVE ……………………………… I PUT MY HANDS UP ……………………. IT IS ALL MY FAULT :)

      1. Yes, the market dictates, but housing is so fundamental it shouldn’t be left to the market. Thats why this intervention is maybe a good thing?This country is now massively over populated, especially the south.. so rental demand like demand for everything from roads to health is huge and inflated to everyones detriment. Unless we develop over most of the souths green belt, things will only get progressively worse. Move to Scotland, win the lottery or buy a tent! That’s the choice most of us will be left with if the situation continues without further regulation.

  2. When is this coming in effect? I am currently in the process of getting a house and they asked us for agent fees! Thanks

    1. ‘as soon as possible’ was the wording used but it’ll take a while to sort out I’d imagine

  3. This may sound to be good news but remember that he who pays the piper dictates the tune. Ironically, landlords will only increase the rent to get back these fees. What would have been ideal is to control the rent prices in some location and depending the type of property too. The landlord may decide to get fees back through increasing the rent price. Think about this.

  4. I have to say I agree with Phil. What is needed is fair rent legislation and a reinstatement of fair rent tribunals. Because of the new taxes imposed on landlords by the Tories my rent just went up by 225. The costs will always be passed on to the tenants unless fairer rent legislation is put in place – and I can’t see a Tory government doing that.

  5. The cost of fees will be immediately moved on to tenants by higher rents, it’s standard business practice, no landlord want to lose money. The only way to imrove housing situation for tenants is to actually build more goddamn houses which will drop prices down.

    1. I see this as the only sustainable solution. Any angle you want to look at it, Landlords will always circumvent their way around any imposed fees put on them, and the result is higher rents on tenants.

  6. Very good news. Agents robbed tenant with fees. Your move leading agents charging £350 for two bedroom house. Credit check costs £5 per person. Important thing they ask for 6 months tenancy and £120 for renewal.

    Big relief for tenants.

  7. Tipping off would be Tennant’s I’d a bad idea if you want your property filled instead of sitting empty month on month. In the long term you lose more by charging huge deposits and advance rents, and other fees charged by the agency.
    There are agencies all over the UK with high rentable houses flats etc sitting empty cos ppl are struggling to find the money to get ye foot in the door and as these fees are so high it’s often way out of the budget of the would be Tennant’s. Well done chancellor u actually got this issue right. At last.

  8. New laws. Being introduced next year in Scotland are landlord can only ask tenant to leave property if landlord is moving into or selling the property. Long leases for tenants.

  9. Thankfully I now rent direct from my landlord so no crazy fees, in the past I have paid £80 to renew a join tenancy with 3 housemates, each of us paying £80 to sign and return extension in the contract.

    Agents have had it too good for too long, it’s a racket! Will rents rise, perhaps a bit, but this is good news and stops agents charging landlords and tenants for the same things.

    Well done Phil! :-)

  10. As a previous tenant and now landlord I was always oppose to these fees especially as they far outweighed what would be considered reasonable. The only fee I charged is the credit referencing fee of £30 per person (the actual cost I pay for the service) which I refunded if they took the room.

    1. So if you’re paying for the credit reference, and the prospective tenant is paying anything from the same to hundreds of pounds, the letting agent is collecting two lots of payments for the same work. How on earth has this ever been legal?

    2. Hi Laura, as the partner of a landlord I would be interested to know how you carry out the credit referencing – do you use a website?

  11. Well said, Mr Ellwood. Another problem that should be dealt with a.s.a.p. is the rate rent is increasing. People are finding it difficult to pay what Landlords and letting agents are demanding. If this were to be properly regulated, preferably by a Government body, working class people would be able to pay their rent more easily. The likelihood of families living in poverty would be reduced. Others would eventually be able to get on the property ladder!!

  12. they shouldve stopped the agents charging all their new fees and not charge landlords too as they will just put up the rent! years ago you only paid an admin fee anywhere from £30 to £100 then they started charging up to £250 on avg. but then invented numerous fees. a refrencing fee which cost £2 if that! but chasrged say £150-£250 then admin on top of that an inventory fee! a check in fee and a check out fee also a 6 monthly check of around £60 and i even saw an agent the other day online charging £30 to hold your deposit!!! theyve got greedy and out of hand.. get rid of agents altogether and come up with a better solution

    1. That was hillarious that an agent charged 30£ for holding our own deposit, as if he is holding it in his hand for the entire duration .

      I am grateful that i rent from private landlord from nearly 2 years, the contract was over this march and it became a rolling contract . however as my financial situation changed i requested the landlord to change rent payment date ( from 2nd of each month to 15) if she doesn’t agree can she kick me out? Merely because of this reason

  13. It’s good for people who can’t get council or social housing and have to rent private because at the moment the average price to pay is about1500 pound on a cheap rent before you move in I was going to b charged 1700 on a 2 bed flat when I over in plus the original 400 ref fees guantor and deposit the rent would have been 700 for a modest 2 bed flat it’s ridoculous

    1. Yes it’s a race to the bottom now. In London, every tradesman I use lives at least 60 miles away UNLESS they live in cheap city centre social housing, as Boris said, housing is completely polarised

  14. In last 5 years I paid about £1000 for comissions and credit checks to agencies…it is a good news because I had to move due to my job…

  15. Exit fees are a big con, too. All of a sudden your deposit has taken a hit. Also, a big con is the charge for cleaning a room. My son moved into a less than clean room and cleaned it top to bottom. I repaired drawer handles, which were falling off. When he left, my Wife cleaned all the surfaces and he vacuumed. The room was far better than when he moved in. Along with an exit fee, of £50, which was basically for the Agent to come and take the keys, he then gets a £24 cleaning fee and withheld deposit, until he agreed it. Still waiting for the deposit and had to pay upfront, somewhere else. Thankfully, no Agent involved, this time.

    1. The deposit has to be lodged with an independent party. If the landlord feels he needs to withhold all or part of the deposit at the end of the tenancy, and the tenant disagrees, it should go to independant arbitration.

  16. It’s s good start! As a renter in London for over ten years these costs are ridiculous .. As well as the charge to extend your tenancy when all the agent does is send a contract!

    But unless the government makes some effort to cap rental costs … I.e. A one bed flat in X area can only be charged at maximum of Y.. Until that happens we are still screwed as renters sadly! Always a benefit for landlords and agents and little for us!

  17. The biggest thing to affect tenants is Section 24. This removal of mortgage interest as a standard business expense will result in thousands of private landlords selling up. HMO house shares will all but end. Young professional sharers will be forced to rent whole flats from corporations. Effective rent will rise and the only option at a similar price to a house share will be lodging with a family. If tenants do not wake up to this tax change they will not be able to complain about private landlords rent – there will not be any left to rent from.

  18. Lots of interesting comment here – thanks everyone. We’ll have to wait and see about rent increases. So far there’s no conclusive proof rents have gone up as a result in Scotland after they banned fees there in 2012.

    Will be interesting to see how soon this is likely to happen once we’ve had full details.

    1. Really Matt? After 4 years there’s no data to conclusively prove what Scotland did was to reduce or stem the increase in rent? Any ideas why?

      1. Hi,

        There have been two studies. One by a Shelter saying rents hadn’t gone up and one by a lettings agent group saying they had. A government select committee looked into it and decided there wasn’t conclusive proof either way.

  19. This is a good thing and although I can understand why tenants are so cynical, it doesn’t necessarily mean rents will be increased. Any additional fees charged to the landlord can be written off on tax and sometimes increased costs are preferable to increased income for a business. As a landlord, I won’t be increasing rent because I value my good tenants and want to do the right thing by them. Tenants might not be aware that agents also charge many fees to the landlords. In Australia for example, landlords are charged approximately 5% management fees by the letting agent but in the UK it is 11% for doing exactly the same thing. There are also none of these huge tenant checking fees etc. in Australia. The agent verifies income and other details of the prospective tenants as part of the management fee or for a very small additional sum. Over the years I can’t say I had worse tenants in Australia than the UK because I paid less for checking them.

  20. @Leanne, I agree. If government won’t put a fixed price on what a property should cost in a particular area, them it’s still a win win situation for agents and “Lanlords”.

  21. xperian credit checks are now free for life…

    no need for agents or landlords to charge for these any more

  22. The reality of shifting the cost to the landlord is a much better idea, they can claim it as an expense for the property!

    As a tenant you no longer need to find a huge amount of money to move.

    I really don’t see what the problem would be???

    Even if rental prices increased, it is up to you what you can afford, is it not???

    Plus, any property is more accessible with less upfront costs… I think it is a great move forward…

    Just a thought, on the positives…

  23. Renewal fees are an agent’s perk. I’m a private landlord and I just allow tenancies to roll over into ‘periodic tenancies’ after the initial term. No cost or effort involved.

    I also happen to be renting at present. When I suggested the same process for my tenancy after the initial term, the agents first tried to say it couldn’t be done (wrong…) and then said it wasn’t their policy. And why would it be? Charging for generally pointless activity is much more business-like. By the way, you can agree a rent increase simply under an existing tenancy, so don’t accept that particular lie.

  24. could go one of 2 ways. introduce competition so landlords advertise with lowest charge agents only thereby driving down costs or the cost is simply passed on to tenant by way of higher rent. even if the latter, at least the charges will be spread out over 6/12 months and not a lump sum at the outset of the tenancy. personally I think this is definitely good news for tenants.

  25. As an independent Letting Agent, I have never charges fees, just a credit check fee back of £25 back to the tenant.

    If I didn’t charge the credit check fee then I would have no idea whether the person I was going to hand keys to would even pay the rent!

    Should that happen then I would be liable to the landlord for unpaid rent! Not a good situation to be in.

    I have never ever charged for tenancy agreements, inventories, check ins (even at weekends and evenings).

    I fear now for the security of some landlords financial stability and think a lot of landlords will sell up.

    That may not be a bad thing in the long run as it will hopefully enable young people to. It a home of their own.

    I know there are some very unscrupulous letting agents out there, I have helped and advices many tenants get their bonds back in full!

    We will have to see how all this will work but hopefully for the good of everyone.

    It will weed out the companies who are only in this business for the fees.

  26. I’m sick every 6 months I have to pay £60 to renew my contract and they this is admin just to print out same contract that sign each time, so might as well add £10 to my rent each month.
    Just one question I rented this property having I could put heating on anytime but now it’s locked away and if I’m cold I can’t switch it on and I’d like to know is this legal ?

  27. Think they could have capped it somehow. There is some admin involved in tenancy set up and references so it has to be paid for somewhere. The landlord needs a certain level of net profit so of course it will have to be passed on. The problem is the average landlord will have to them mark it up even more as it will taxed as income ! So my reckoning is that a reasonable capped fee for admin and refs payable by the tenant would be more transparent and fairer.

  28. I don’t see how rents will shoot up everywhere because of the scrapping of fees for tenants. I am a both a landlord (by default and who has not put the rent up in 4 years) and tenant after having to move to start a course and then a job. All landlords would have to collaborate to put rents up and those that decide not to use a letting agents may become more desirable to tenants, especially in areas where there is an excess of rented accommodation anyway. However, where house prices are still very high ie. London/parts of the South east there may be slight rises. But due to the high demand for housing in those areas due to housing shortage, some landlords may look to exploit this as an excuse to increase their profits. You just have to be more choosy about your landlord and agency.

  29. Surely Landlords already pay agents for their services, so agencies have effectively been charging both sides for the same work for ages anyway? Agree this is good news, anything that reduces what can be the enormous upfront outlay to move into a tiny, otherwise quite cheap flat is good. It’s greedy agencies own faults anyway, they’ve pushed their fees up so high in the last few years that it’s no wonder it’s finally been noticed and deemed unacceptable. A few years ago it was about £75 on average, and while I was viewing a tiny, one room studio in a so-so suburb of Birmingham last week, I asked the woman what the agency fees were. £250 (and would have been more if there were more people!) .

  30. I’ve been looking for a flat to rent for the last month or so, however I’m definitely going to hang fire for now if it could potentially save me a few hundred quid, and suspect many others will do the same. Predict temporary massive drop in demand for rental property while everyone waits to see when this is going to be introduced.

  31. That’s a bit blind to think negative way, in way of increasing rents.

    Important is, all charges will be shown clearly in the rent. No additionals. No need to into the ad seeing £300 more charges. Seeing the price difference, it will be much clearer that more expensive properties are offered through an agent offered and can be better filtered out – looking for £900 rent won’t show those for £1100. Higher motivation for landlords to rent directly.

    Important is renters will pay for what is requested, and to one party, rather than being hidden and split.

  32. This is all well in good for Scotland, England & Wales but when is it planned to come into effect in Northen Ireland? Or is going to be even more beneficial legislation for only 3/4 of the actual UK as usual?

  33. It’s very faire to be done.
    I was living in England and I had to pay administrative fees and inventory fees , lost money from my pocket .
    And in Scotland I live now I paid only my first month and the deposit and the rental here is half price than England.
    Human things happen in Scotland and we have been told from agencies here that the fees they charge in England is completely illegal

  34. We £600 odd to and Agent to do all our checks – then the landlord scammed us for £1,000 deposit that he won’t pay back. The Agents deny any duty of care to their clients and the landlord won’t answer any communication. Have had to take out a Warrant of Execution against them which doesn’t look too hopeful either. This would certainly stop this sort of thing happening.

  35. Its about time it was getting out of hand but Scotland banned agent fees since 2012 and its working there.

    What you will see is a higher first months rent but this could be legally challenged, maybe we will see more websites like open rent, where landlords already charge zero fees.

    Most landlords are already pushing the boundaries of rent market values and for landlords that rent to housing benefit tenants if they don’t keep within LHA rates they won’t get any takers.

  36. I think it’s a brilliant idea. Agents request high fees and most of the agents don’t do any checks.

    If you move more than once it gets very expensive.

    Trying to save money to move is very stressful

  37. The most important things for government to see how the rent goes down to normal living standard of low income working class. Because the landlords and agents are untouchable. They were just like the lawmakers when it comes to property business.Tenants will always be at the receiving end and at the mercy of Landlords.Very very hard for low income working class to get a roof on their heads nowadays. .

  38. Don’t get too excited about this.

    It will only be introduced “As soon as possible and after a consultation”

    The key here is “After a consultation”, whichcould mean it may never happen.

  39. The best thing is for the government to regulate the property market and Control prices. if not, costs will still find tenant one way or the other.

  40. It seems that all landlords are tainted with the same brush – that they own several properties, they charge exhorbitant rents and don’t look after their properties. This is not true. My partner owns his own home. He was made redundant in his 50’s and has been unable to find another job. He now lives with me and rents out his house – this is his only income and is only just enough to live on. The letting agent charge him upwards of £500 + vat to advertise his property, do the inventory and carry out the tenant checks. Buying property to rent out is one thing, renting out your home and your childrens inheritance is another. Private landlords need to make sure that their tenant is who they say they are, that they are reliable and can pay the rent. In return the landlord must make sure that the house is safe and in good repair. It’s in the landlords and the tenants interest to get a good tenant who is going to stay for a long time. Yes, there is a possibility that the landlord may increase the rent because of the extra cost, however I don’t think this is wrong.

  41. Those that own the means of production and those that set the rent (landlords) will always shaft the poor, which ever spin they put on it, you can rent a single room now for what you could rent a flat for 5 years ago! But the rich are the only ones that can afford to build houses, but why would they when we are all paying through our arse for rent? Only thing you can do is make your self richer, so educate your self and join them, because they’ll never take their foot off the throat of the poor.

  42. Hmmmm,yes they are going to abolish these fees!!!!,now the government need to put a cap on landlords putting their rent up higher,ridiculous how much we get shafted by them!!!!! Some properties aren’t worth what their charging,where’s our protection!!!!!!

  43. I think what many people are failing to realize is that like most sectors in a capitalist economy, there is competition. A renter can rent from any landlord he or she chooses. Those landlords that choose to raise their rents as a result of the abolition of Letting Agency fees may put off a perspective renter who will simply rent from another landlord who charges less. Therefore he/she will lose rental income

    To be honest, £200 plus for a credit check, inventory and “administration”. Are they joking?

  44. This is good news. Agents previously had an incentive to make the tenants “fail” the credit and reference checks, pocket the fee and move on to the next victims. It was an open barn door for fraud. In addition, there was no way a £2 credit check and a couple of emails to previous landlords justified fees of £200 – £300. One friend of mine was told that the property was deemed “borderline affordable” for him, and the agent made up a rule on the spot that he had to show that he had £4,000 in his bank. The police should look into the entire “profession”.

  45. I’m just in the process of moving to another rental property one bed flat and on Monday paid £300 for checks to be carried out. Daylight robbery

  46. I was charged £150 plus £200 for a part deposit. Total of £350. Within a week I had to withdraw my application because of my job… I was told by the agent I had lost the whole amount because I had withdrawn my application..
    They rip you off… It’s money for nothing as they did nothing except take £350 from my card…

  47. Brilliant comments via all. Very interesting, and very applicable to my current situation. Choices, decisions, working to budget, mine field. Hopefully successfully negotiated – privately – No AGY.

    S. Chambers (House Proud Derbyshire)

  48. As a landlord I have never used an agent, but always felt that the admin and other fees were too high for tenants. It’s a pity that competition or other market forces had not reduced fees to something that seemed more fair. For those of you calling for rent controls, this has been tried in the past and it resulted in unintended consequences. If you want a more recent example look at Venezuela and their price controls in many areas. Keeping the price lower than the true supply/demand balance will only result in shortages because there will eventually be less property available to rent. Also the remaining properties will not receive investment necessary for good maintenance etc. Rents will only reduce if demand falls or supply increases. Anything else is just a distraction from the true economic facts.

  49. this is excellent news, i have been renting since university and find it amazing when agents charge a few hundred pounds for dubious admin fees on top of the first months rent and one month deposit . It all adds up to a ridiculous amount before you move in.

  50. My son had a reference from his last landlord, as he was selling the flat. He had lived their for 9 Years. The agency still insisted on credit checks, which had to be paid for plus another reference. 2 month rent in advance, plus other fees. My husband also had to act as a guarantor. They kept back about £1,600 this is all for a small studio flat that the landlord charges £650. a month. Landlords know they can charge what they want, whatever the condition of the property. This is due to not enough property, available.

  51. When l heard the news cutting off letting fees, l was jumping up in my lounge.
    I was so happy.
    People are just been charged unnecessary, it’s too much.
    Oh gracious God, this is a big relief for lots of us.
    Thanks to Government.

  52. If the result of this means letting agents charging these fees to the landlord then many lanlords will have no option but to recover these costs from the tenant. The government have banned agents from charging these fee’s but not the landlord. There is this belief held by many people that assume all lanlords are wealthy unscrupulous individuals but, speaking as a landlord myself, we are not. I make a slight loss every year on my property and there is no magic fund to pay these extra fee’s if they come the lanlords way which will result in the costs coming straight from my own pocket which is in effect another tax.

  53. Morning All,

    Why didn’t the government Act Sooner!!!
    People I know have already moved away from the Capital and changed their career’s because it became unbearable for them to stay.

    This has a knock on effect on families, Single people in and around the uk.
    Something should of been done before now.

    Prevention is better than cure.
    Too little too late.
    I’m disappointed and sad that it hasn’t taken so long for the government to Act.

    The damage is already done.

  54. I’m sick of paying 500 pounds every time I move I have paid 1000 in two years I work part time it’s so unfair these people think we shoot this money out of our ass I work hard I have 2 children to look after not these estate agents to be taking my money. Kmrt

  55. My son and three other students in his house all had to pay £120 each last month to the agent for keeping the house for another year 17/18. They already paid that sum previously for 2016 in June to move in this September.
    Total of £480 to the agent in Surrey to stay for another year only 5 months after paying the first fee. As they are one of the main suppliers to RUHL they must be making an absolute killing. Most students are just too busy and don’t feel they have any choice. It infuriates me that the government hasn’t tackled this issue or that the Universities don’t support students and ensure they aren’t ripped off like this.

    I really feel for all those people out there that are struggling. It would be much better to have more direct sites that put Landlords and Tenants directly in touch with each other. It can’t be that difficult to get on-line tenants agreements that would suit both parties can it?

  56. Local estate agent in Beccles for 1 bed flat. £125 application fee.. Non returnable
    £20 to check if over 18
    £100 if u need guarantor
    £150 agreement fee
    + extra inventory fee if needed
    £100 per pet non returnable deposit
    Check out fee at end of tenancy or £48 to renew.
    Plus one month up front and deposit. about £1700 to move in
    What a rip off! hopefully I can move when law changes

  57. The most ridiculous agency costs are the ones where as an individual you look for a room in London online, an advert that the flatmates have put together and posted, but if you want to move in you have to pay the agency fees. With checking etc comes to £250. And after six months they ask for contract renewal fees. Without having to do any work, they just take money off of people. About time it became illegal.

  58. Having read many of these comments I’ve realised how fortunate I am. Like many, I’m stuck in the situation of renting a property that I couldn’t on paper afford to buy, yet actually paying more than the same mortgage would be – which is craziness itself but that’s for a different soap box. I’ve a private landlord who actually lives next door so is also my neighbour, takes a pro-active approach to maintenance and communication and when we started the rental period used a decent agent purely to take care of contracts and deposits. When the original term expired, I had a personal conversation with the LL and both agreed we were happy to just ‘roll on’ long term from that point and save the hassle of paperwork.

    However getting to that point was ridiculous as when looking around I was being vetted on other properties by a variety of agents and constantly filling in identical paperwork to the same credit referencing agency yet being charged a range of prices by different agents so it was easy to see which ones were making £2-300 mark-ups for doing nothing except sending a fax and the credit checking company doing nothing more than hitting copy and paste!!!

  59. That’s very good news as l had to pay £300 for reverences and all the landlord did was phone the numbers l gave him
    Along with a Deposit and a month in advance a lot to pay out when looking for a flat

    Maggie

  60. We will be much more happy if the rent is controlled, the landlords are also overdoing it with the prices they are charging. £900 to 1500 for a one bedroom flat even the people who are renting rooms are greedy and heartless

  61. I think the government should ban not the admin but the deposit and back it up another way as some parts charge 3 times the rent not the admin that finishes people off

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