Tenants failed by the letting system

Letting agents are getting away with murder. Rebecca Rutt calls for more regulation.

I've been trying for two months to rent a house and it's a nightmare. Most people my age can't afford to buy so the market is very competitive and the letting agents are abusing this.

A big problem is the fact there are no restrictions on fees. This can be £200 for "admin" fees, extra for moving in and out and £100 for changing names on a contract. The worst part is it doesn't matter how much work they do, you still have to pay a ridiculous amount. And this is completely legal.

Unlike estate agents the letting agents don't have to register with an official body. If you do want to complain you can go through Trading Standards but you can only really do this after you've moved in since it delays the process and could mean you lose the place. The catch is most people won't complain and will just pay these fees because they're so desperate for a home.

The government needs to stand up and take action. Every letting agent should be registered and show exactly what their services are and there should be a cap on fees. Everyone I know has a bad story about renting but it still goes on. If you've gone or are going through a similar process, please get in touch. It's time something is done about this daylight robbery.

Your Comments

I had a bad experience when renting a shared house in Bethnal Green. The letting agent was extremely unprofessional but there was no way of contacting the landlord to complain. I had to pay an £80 ‘moving in fee’, £60 ‘moving out fee’ and a fee every year when we renewed the contract. Having paid all of these fees I was then copied in on emails to the tenants regarding rent and other confidential topics for months after I moved out, despite continually requesting to be removed from their books.

We also had an incident one December when a workman had locked an additional lock on the front door that none of us were aware of or had a key for. The agency was having its Christmas party and despite making an initial call at 4.30 pm no one came round to let us into our own home until 10am the following day. After complaining we were offered a bottle of wine as an apology.

yes i agree with that . i will never use a letting agency again . 6 month ago i lost almost 300 pounds for admin fee . Unfot my husband didnt have a good credit check even so they said that we cant rent . We tried to pay 6 months in advance but they still refuse to help us to rent a house . Never again i felt robbed and felt left on the streets. ps. they didnt want to talk us or help us .
i really hope that the government should stop them make money so easy .

Kind regards