Is it legitimate for a letting agent to ask for an ‘offer’ on the rent? | The Tenants' Voice
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Is it legitimate for a letting agent to ask for an 'offer' on the rent?

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106 views 1 replies latest reply: 11 September 2017

After finding a nice property for rent online, my friend arranged a viewing with the letting agency. She liked the place and wanted to take it, but the following happened:

-the agent said she could not block the property now, because he had more viewings that day

-the agent asked for an offer, even though the monthly rental price was clearly stated in the advert
-Is this kind of practice legal and acceptable in the UK? 
-Can it be expected to have auction-like behaviour in the rental market (for future reference)? 
-If no, is there a way to object officially to such treatment?
Thank you.

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Frequently, agents pit interested tenants against each other to see who will pay more or faster to get a property.

Sometimes, this happens by simulating an auction like in your situation. Other times agents ask for a holding deposit to reserve the property, which is not refundable if you for any reason bail out. 

I’ve never seen any information that claims such a behaviour is illegal. It might rub you the wrong way, but it’s a free market and even though referencing is done to pretty much every tenant, it is the landlord / agent who actually decides who gets the property at their own discretion. Referencing might or might not impact their decision, but money certainly does. 

In your case, I suggest you just let it go and if you don’t like the agent, don’t get into a property that they offer. There is almost always more trouble down the road. 

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