From: Mr AR Talman, West Parade, Bexhill
To enable one to rent a property within the Bexhill/Hastings area, estate agents are ripping off those wanting to rent a property by charging excessive tenant charges.
For a couple this would be £500 before even being given the keys to a property.
How can estate agents justify such excessive charges? A simple scenario of a couple wanting to rent:
1. Holding deposit: £200
2. Admin fees: £150 lead tenant (husband)
3. Admin fee: £100 second tenant (wife). Any other person over 18 years £100.
4. Guarantors: £100
£550 and all the couple have said, ‘Yes we like the property and we would like to rent it.’ What actual work has the agent done? He has photographed and run off a description of the property.
He asks the potential tenants for the names and details for three references.
From personal experience I have been down this road twice in the last two years. Quite a sizeable cost to me and for what?
I gave the names and contact details of three persons who would give me a reference. These people are, a Lt Colonel, a Member of the House of Lords and an MP. Both estate agents required these details and in both cases on verifying if either one of them had been contacted by the agent, all replied no. One could call this a vetting requirement.
If the estate agents carried out this part of the tenant charges correctly, this information could be shared between them all and not every time rip off tenants who sadly have to go down this road as they are unable to buy a home.
There is no competition between estate agents, all their tenant charges are the same. This to me is a hard-core cartel which involves price fixing this market and needs to be investigated by the authorities.
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