Movebubble displays agency fees within the app, so you can see the total cost of moving into your new home in London. Have you downloaded the app? Make sure you do so you have the complete picture of the fees for renting each property.
Letting agents are obliged to be clear about any fees and charges upfront.
Every agent should display their fees on their website or in their offices, so if you’re not 100% sure of the costs, ask outright. If the agent charges you for anything that hasn’t been previously agreed then they must show you exactly how they arrived at their calculations.
But it’s not just charges when you move into a property that you need to know about; there may also be charges when you leave a property or if you sign a renewal agreement at the end of your tenancy.
What do lettings agents typically charge for?
Lettings agents can charge for a range of things including:
- Holding a deposit (to reserve a property before you’ve signed an agreement)
- Reference checks
- Credit checks
- Providing a lettings agreement or contract
- Inventory upon arrival and leaving
- Administration charges
- Renewal rental agreement at the end of your tenancy
Deposit and rent
Agents may ask you to pay what they call a “holding deposit” whilst they do reference and credit checks on you. You shouldn’t pay a holding deposit unless you receive in writing an explanation of what will happen to the money once you’ve paid it. This can depend on the agency but in some cases holding deposits may be non-refundable if you fail any of the checks the agent carries out.
You should be aware if the holding deposit will either:
- Be given back to you once you move in
- Put towards your tenancy deposit
- Put towards and fees or agent costs
- Goes towards your advance rent repayments
Remember, don’t pay anything unless you’ve got all the details in writing.
Most agents will also ask you for a deposit before you move into a property and also a portion of the rent up-front. This could be anything from 1-3 months, depending on the agent.
What rental agencies should not charge for
Under no circumstance should an agent charge you to see any of the properties, or go on any viewings of properties that it represents.
You should never be charged for routine visits or inspections during your tenancy period.
Any attempt to charge you for this is illegal.
What a rental agency should provide you with before your move
A trustworthy rental agency should provide you with several pieces of information:
- A full list of all their charges during the letting process including TAX and VAT costs.
- A written document outlining what happens to your holding deposit (if you’re asked to pay one)
- A document with information about the tenancy deposit scheme it uses
What a rental agency should provide you with after your move
A document with details about where your deposit is currently being held, and of course a set of keys!
Feature image credit: GotCredit