Letting agents’ fees should be banned as they bear no relation to the service provided, the National Private Tenants Organisation — also known as “Generation Rent” — said on Tuesday.
The organisation found that fees varied wildly across the country. Some charged nothing while others charged £780 ($1,107) despite no obvious difference in the services offered.
The report added that letting agents are required by law to publish their fees, but research shows that 14% of them are not and could be fined £5000.
The London boroughs of Waltham Forest and Croydon had the highest letting fees, of £461 and £435 respectively on average.
Conversely, Manchester’s average was only £307.
Average letting fees across the country come to £386, which is well over half of the average non-London rent per month according to HomeLet.co.uk.
Generation Rent adds that a petition to ban letting fees has reached 250,000 signatures under a month.
Betsy Dillner, Director of Generation Rent, said renters were a captive market often had little choice but to pay letting fees
“Competition for homes is fierce, so tenants aren’t in a position to avoid paying letting fees, and agents often charge what they like. If tenant fees were banned, agents could start competing properly for business, and tenants wouldn’t have to dip into their savings to be able to move home.”
As Business Insider previously reported, even London’s super-rich are turning to renting over buying these days in order to avoid increased tax scrutiny and rising stamp duty.