Rip-off letting agents are raking in massive profits by inventing sky-high charges for things that cost nothing, a charity revealed yesterday, writes Will Stone.
Housing charity Shelter found cases of tenants being charged £100 just to view a property, up to £540 for non-refundable "administration" fees and more than £150 a year for repeat credit checks that actually cost between £8 and £25 to do.
Landlords have also been unfairly charged by letting agents who double-charge them for the same services they already charged tenants, Shelter claims.
Of 5,000 tenants Shelter surveyed, almost a quarter of them felt they had been "ripped off" at some point in their lives by letting agents' charges for things such as credit checks, renewing contracts and administration costs.
Shelter's campaigns and policy director Kay Boycott said: "It's scandalous that some letting agents are creaming off huge profits from the boom in private renting by charging both tenants and landlords fees that are totally out of proportion to the service they provide."