Landlords’ Agents Still Making 473% Profit on Tenant Fees,

says Letting Agency

Tenant fees will be banned by law but renters need more

Writes Tony Coe, Founder & CEO of Saunders 1865,

A prominent online Letting Agency, OpenRent, has released actual costs on some of the most common tenancy fees demanded of tenants by Letting Agents.  It calls these fees “unfair”. 

I agree. 

Tenants have no option other than to pay these fees which are, in reality, for services that are required by their client landlords.  And it should be kept in mind that these Agents are already charging fat fees to their client landlords.  For this reason, property experts and commentators describe this practice as “double-dipping”.

OpenRent has published a breakdown of what it calls the real costs versus the average costs currently charged to tenants by other Letting Agents.  Here they are:

-      Tenant Referencing

o   Average = £86

o   Real = £15

-      Guarantor Set Up

o   Average = £95

o   Real = £15

-      Tenancy Renewal

o   Average = £85

o   Real = £4

-      Tenancy Amendment

o   Average = £115

o   Real = £4-12

I can assure you that, in our experience representing renters day in/day out, OpenRent’s assessment of average fees being charged is very modest.  We have seen Tenant fees amounting to around £900 or even more!

Of course, it’s welcome news that the government has finally announced that these tenant fees will be banned ASAP via the introduction of new legislation.  It looks likely that the new law will go further, perhaps limiting damage deposits to the equivalent of one month’s rent and so-called holding deposits to one week’s rent.

But Saunders 1865 and its clients have also appealed to government to go even further than that to protect renters.  We would like to see:


  • A new law to force landlords to keep their properties and all fixtures, fittings and services in good repair.  Easy legal remedies/penalties are needed so that repairs cannot be delayed.


  • The terms under which holding deposits (money paid by renters to reserve the property while the paperwork is being processed) must be strictly regulated.


  • Tough new legislation and penalties to protect tenants’ rights to “quiet enjoyment” of their rental home so that landlords can’t disrupt a renter’s life by demanding they give access – for example for viewings by buyers or prospective tenants.

Saunders 1865 has over 30 years of experience moving top talent to locations all over the world, including to the UK.  A major part of what we do is to find lovely rental homes for our clients and secure them at reasonable rents on fair tenancy terms.

Schedule a free consultation today with one of our Relocation Experts via our Contact Form to learn more.