A new poll by Citizens Advice shows that the general public supports the Government’s proposed ban on tenant fees charged by letting agents, while most of those in favour of the fees believe that private renters should only be required to pay a nominal amount to secure a property.
Poll Shows that the General Public Supports the Ban on Tenant Fees
The charity has found that tenant fees currently cost an average of £337 per person, but ARLA Propertymark claims that around £200 per tenant is a more realistic figure for fees relating to a range of administration, including references, credit and immigration checks, as well as the drawing up of tenancy agreements.
Yesterday, ARLA Propertymark called for tenant referencing to be exempt from the lettings fee ban.
However, the survey by Citizens Advice found that 46% of Britons think that tenants should not pay any admin fees or charges, above a tenancy deposit and first month’s rent when using a letting agent. Meanwhile, 61% supported an outright ban on tenant fees when renting property direct from a landlord.
When asked how much is too much when it comes to tenant fees, almost two thirds of respondents (61%) thought that tenants should pay no more than £50 to secure a property. This figure increases to three quarters (74%) when looking at the results for private landlords.
The findings show that many people are happy with the idea that tenants should pay a small fee to cover legitimate expenses during the tenancy application process, but less than 10% of respondents thought that tenants should have to pay more than £150 to secure a property.
Nick Marr, the Co-Founder of TheHouseShop.com, which commissioned the YouGov research, says: “Our latest YouGov survey results clearly show that there is little public support for the current system where tenants can end up paying hundreds of pounds in admin fees to secure a new property.
“In fact, the majority of people said that tenants should pay a minimal fee of no more than £50.”
He believes that there is plenty of evidence to show that a growing number of tenants are actively seeking out private landlords in an attempt to “avoid the hefty fees charged by some letting agents”.
He adds: “Many tenants are prepared to pay a small fee for legitimate expenses involved in securing a property, such as a professional reference check, as this has become common practice even among private landlords – but vague and undefined admin charges that can total hundreds of pounds are tough to defend in the current market.”