Private rental sector needs regulation crackdown

Sarah Davidson

November 4, 2014

Of ARLA’s members three quarters (74%) charge less than £250 in tenancy fees, with the amount charged averaging £213.

David Cox, managing director of ARLA, said: “There are some landlords and agents that do take advantage of the cost of tenant fees.

“This is where better regulation is needed in the private rental sector to ensure consumers are not taken advantage of.

“We want to see tenants paying a fair price for the service they receive.”

Among ARLA members tenants are most likely to be charged for reference checks (98%), followed by charges for the tenancy agreement(69%) and then fees for tenancy renewal (65%).

Six out of 10 ARLA agents charge a flat fee that includes all the services for tenants in one.

Cox added: “Tenant fees cover the cost of essential items during the lettings agreement process such as reference checks, the drafting of the tenancy agreement, and the management of tenancy extension or renewal.

“All of these items cost the agent money to carry out, and in fact, provided the agent has a fair pricing structure, the agent will not make a noticeable profit on charging for these items.

“Renting a property is a big financial commitment and tenants should be made aware of what exactly they are being charged for and what they are getting for their money.

“ARLA supports openness and transparency when it comes to fees.”

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