This article was first published in Brighton and Hove News.
Tenants who privately rent are at the mercy of letting agents because agents need the business from landlords and offer them incentives.
The agents are increasingly passing their fees onto young people and other tenants with low incomes who are renting privately.
Matthew Bolton, a private tenant in Hove, said: “In Brighton, it is a seller’s market, they can pick and choose and want reliable tenants.”
He paid a six week deposit in advance for his rental home including a £200 holding fee per person to take the property off the market and £252 for the first person or £384 for two people in administration fees. The fees are not refundable but the deposit is.
Mr Bolton is renting a 1.5 bedroom flat with his partner who is a 32 year old lawyer. The couple still had to provide a guarantor who was a property owner in spite of their income and age.
A friend of the couple, who has no property owning guarantor, has been told to pay six month’s rent in advance and a two month deposit.
“Some letting agents only offer six month tenancies which means there is no security for young families. We are sometimes charged more fees to renew the tenancy,” said Mr Bolton.
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