For tenants in the UK, moving house is not as simple as having enough income to pay the rent and having enough on the side for the deposit. The cost that is often overlooked until the last minute is the estate agent administration fees. Estate agents will need to take their cut and they’ll be taking it before you move in. Here’s what the tenant fees will cover two main services:
1. The Cost of Referencing
To ensure they find a suitable and trustworthy tenant, the lettings agent will run a series of checks on potential tenants. These include checking credit status, current/previous employment checks and checking current/previous landlord references. All of these will be taken into consideration prior to arranging the tenancy agreement.
2. Providing a Tenancy Agreement
To ensure both the landlord and the tenant are protected in the case of any disputes, the lettings agent will provide a tenancy agreement for both parties to sign. If there are any issues with the property it is commonplace for the estate agents to make some decisions on behalf of the landlord or consult them on behalf of the tenant. This ensures the landlord does not a have to invest too much time into the property and gives the tenants any attention they need.
Are the Tenant Fees Reasonable?
As there is no industry standard cost and no regulation, the large profit margins that agents often make on these fees has always been questionable. More recently, the fees have become a topic of conversation as the government has recently announced plans to crack down on unfair costs in the near future. Unfortunately, we do not always have the luxury of choosing a house based on our estate agents but where possible you should look for an estate agent that is part of a professional body and charges reasonable fees for this service.
What is a Reasonable Tenant Administration Fee?
Some estate agents have been known to charge up to £600 in administration fees! This is why it is very important to check the fees prior to viewing houses. Rentify is one agent that is out to expose these fees, the following infographic shows average estate agent fees in various regions of the UK.
Tell us about your experiences with tenant fees. Do you think they are too high?