MSE News: Letting agents must be upfront about fees, ad watchdog says

"Letting agents have to be up-front about fees in ads for rental properties, says the Advertising Standards Authority..."
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Letting agents must be upfront about fees, ad watchdog says

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  • G_MG_M Forumite
    52K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
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    If this is an ASA initiative, does it only apply to ads in newspapers etc?

    And is it backedup with anyclout?
  • kmmrkmmr Forumite
    1.4K Posts
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    It's great if it's true. Really about time - I can't believe how high these costs can be. And from a LL perspective you also aren't told about them unless you specifically ask.
  • PandilexPandilex Forumite
    410 Posts
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    I asked my agency directly what the agency fee was, and they said half a month's rent fee.

    I asked if there were any other hidden charges, eg. checking out fee or mandatory cleaning fee or anything like that, and they said no.

    So they were pretty up front and honest about it.

    Oh, except for when I found a place and sat down and had to pay a £100 check-in fee they had not mentioned before :mad:
  • PasturesNewPasturesNew Forumite
    70.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
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    At the bottom end of the pile, you're over a barrel - if you try asking, they don't tell you. Then you HAVE to pay the fees as you need a roof over your head.

    It's the ongoing fees and exit fees that then clobber you.

    Also, it was only after I'd viewed where I am now (converted garage) and when I wanted to apply for it that the agents told me about their multiple on salaries - I needed to be able to prove a high salary to even be allowed to pay exhorbitant fees. Now I'd not even be allowed to apply .... but it was annoying that the multiple wasn't mentioned at first contact.

    They also don't let you see the AST, nor to sign it ahead of time and know you're moving. You're there on the morning of your move HOPING you've a home later that day, but unsure until you've got the keys.

    I'd not do business like that!
  • DragonQDragonQ Forumite
    2.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
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    Good. It took a while to get the total fees out of all the letting agents I was dealing with when looking for a new place because only one of them actually had no extra hidden charges. They still quote everything exclusive of VAT though, which seems stealthy to me.
  • This would have been rather helpful, we move in on Friday and just last week we were hit by more fees for the compulsory inventory check. This was on top of all the administration fees, reference checks etc... We have ended up paying about £500 more each than original,y expected!
  • princeofpoundsprinceofpounds Forumite
    10.4K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
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    Good. I applaud the transparency.

    Watch out for a proliferation of attempts to charge 'optional' fees that don't fall under this regulation however. Of course they will be more optional in theory than in practice.
  • Does anyone know what counts as advertising? Advertising on websites such as gumtree, spareroom etc I imagine. How about information in their own shop windows, does that count?
    Saving £10,000 in 2013: £4491.48/£10,000
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