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Private rental sector tenants in the UK feel they are being ripped off by landlords and agents, especially on fees at the start of a tenancy, new research suggests. The study shows that 65% of respondents believe they have faced unreasonable fees and charges, according to the poll by Property Let By Us. A further 73% said they have had unreasonable deductions from their deposit and one in six tenants complained about unreasonable rent rises. According to Jane Morris, managing director of Property Let By Us there are a few agents charging excessive fees, but an Advertising Standards Authority ruling in 2014 has made the industry much more transparent with charges. ‘However, there is more that the industry could do to educate tenants on how fees are charged and for what. Many tenants don’t understand what they are being charged for and why. Honest and open communication with tenants is key for both landlords and agents. If all fees and charges are explained to tenants, they are more likely to be comfortable them,’ she explained. She also pointed out if letting agent fees are banned by a potential Labour government, tenants could be faced with higher rents, with the charges being absorbed. ‘The bottom line is that essential costs relating to inventories, reference checks and administration have to be carried out before the tenancy can start. Banning fees will not save tenants cash in the long run,’ she added. Continue reading →
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