Problems with letting agents

Find out about some of the problems tenants can experience when renting through a letting agent.

Problems with fees

Most fees for tenants are banned. You can't be asked to pay for things like credit checks or references when agreeing a new tenancy.

If your tenancy began on or after 1 June 2019 you can only be charged a fee for:

  • late payment of rent
  • lost keys or fobs
  • ending your tenancy early
  • changing or assigning your tenancy

It's a criminal offence if a letting agent charges you for registering for a property or to give you accommodation details.

Problems with your tenancy agreement

You should be given enough time to read and understand your tenancy agreement before you sign.

Unfair terms

Tenancy agreements must not contain any terms the law says are unfair, such as:

  • the landlord can use a 'break clause' to end the tenancy early, but you can't
  • excessive interest on unpaid rent
  • you're not allowed to have guests overnight
  • that your landlord can come in whenever they want, without giving notice
  • saying you have to fix repairs that the landlord is legally responsible for

Contact with your landlord

You usually deal with agent directly if they provide a full management service for the landlord.

You're still entitled to the name and address of your landlord.

You can contact them if you can't resolve problems with the agent.

Find out how to find your landlord if the agent won't provide details.

Complain about a letting agent

If you're unhappy about hidden fees or the service a letting agent provides, you can make a complaint.

You can escalate it to a letting agent redress scheme if your complaint isn't resolved within 8 weeks.

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Last updated 29 Nov 2019 | © Shelter

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