ARLA that gives landlords a certain amount of redress but membership is optional. There is no over riding professional organisation that decides how much you get charged for a specific service which ever letting agent you use like you may encounter if you go to a NHS dentist. But in many ways aren't we all beyond that? In a deregulated world isn't competition and variety of service and charging structures good?
All this lack of regulation means that the onus is on the landlord to ensure that they know exactly what they are signing up for and how much it costs. So how much should I pay for my letting agent?
Shelter have recently carried out a survey where they reveal that one in four landlords and tenants feel hard done by because they have been charged inflated fees. The obvious ones to look out for our dubious administration charges and a charge for unnecessarily renewing the tenancy agreement. This activity was one that Foxtons in the past have used to much effect and criticism.
My advice is to make sure that before you sign up with a letting agency that you get an agency agreement and that you study it fully before signing. If you don't get one and the letting agent refuses to give you one then don't use that letting agent
You can of course avoid all this potentially hassle by not using a letting agent at all. The worlds your oyster when it comes to letting agents but just like anything in this life....make sure you know what the letting agent fees are and what you are agreeing to before you sign on the dotted line.
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