Estate agents ‘rip off’ tenants

Private tenants are routinely being ‘conned’ by letting agents imposing unjustified fees for providing a poor or nonexistent service, a report from the Citizens Advice said today. It said that it was dealing with 6,000 tenants’ complaints a year regarding letting agents, and that the behaviour of some is ‘out of control’. The report has found that 94 per cent of agents imposed up to seven additional charges on tenants, not counting the deposit and rent in advance, costing up to £600, and some agents were caught billing tenant and landlord for the same service. Citizens Advice wants the government to extend the recent regulation to include a ban on additional charges.