Research by housing charity Shelter showed that one in four people across the country had been ripped off by unscrupulous agents charging unfair fees. I'd recommend to anyone either affected by this or who is interested in fair business dealings (and that includes landlords - I know a number who have been ripped off too!) to sign up to this campaign
Shelter says the most common fees were for ‘administration’ (14%), credit checks (10%) and for renewing a contract (8%) and more than half the people they surveyed (52%) felt the fees were unfair because they were disproportionate to the cost or amount of work done by the letting agent.
While many letting agents provide a valuable service some bring the business in to disrepute and charge unfair fees.
With the huge pressure on rented housing in Reading, people can be very vulnerable to unscrupulous letting agents who feel they can not only charge unjustified fees but also let really unsafe and substandard properties. But they should remember the Council is on the case: this summer one agent was fined £20,000and we won’t hesitate to act whenever we learn of further abuses. Tenants, including the students who are now flocking into Reading, need to know that we are on their side.