New ruling on letting agents fees

6 March 2013

A woman talking to a man with a piece of paper

The Advertising Standards Agency has ruled that letting agents must make their full fees clear in the quoted price of all rental properties.

The ruling follows research by Shelter last year, which revealed almost 1 in 4 British people have been ripped off by a letting agent - equivalent to 11 million people.

Shelter’s findings included:

  • Renters being charged over £150 for repeat credit checks every year. Shelter research suggests the checks cost letting agents between £8 and £25 to run.
  • People being charged £100 each time they viewed a property.
  • Renters being charged up to £540 for non-refundable ‘administration’ fees.
  • Letting agents double-charging fees for the same service to landlords and tenants.

Campbell Robb, Chief Executive of Shelter, said of the new ruling: 'This is extremely welcome news for struggling renters who often find themselves facing unfair and unclear charges.

'While this is undoubtedly a step in the right direction, it's vital that we address not just the disclosure of fees but the fees themselves.

‘Our investigation uncovered unexplained charges of over £500. With costs like these on top of the sky-high rents that families already face, the Government needs to take action on this issue that affects hard-pressed families on a huge scale.’

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