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Q: I understand the landlord has to pay a letting agent for finding them tenants and other costs of managing their property, but why do I have to so pay so many different fees on top of the rent?

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last updated: 25 Sep 2013 report a problem

Unscrupulous letting agents charging extortionate fees and overcharging tenants is becoming a big issue; and it is not difficult to understand why. It is unfair, but they are allowed to get away with it simply because there is no law against it. All TTV registered letting agents operate within a strict code of practice and do not charge  extortionate  fees. The best way to avoid paying such charges is to avoid renting via a letting agent who is not associated with any of the 5 industry bodies below:

1. The National Approved Letting Scheme (the most highly regarded of the regulatory bodies).

2. The Association of Residential Letting Agents

3. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors

4. The National Association of Estate Agents

5. Association of Residential Management Agents

The advantage of using a good letting agent is that they can help you find a suitable property to rent faster and more efficiently manage any problems that you might experience whilst renting such as necessary repairs.

However, if you have made the decision to use the services of  a letting agent the best thing to do is write to them and get them to itemise every single one of their fees and charges BEFORE signing the tenancy agreement and ask them directly to list them all. Having it in writing will cover you against any hidden costs.