Protest over letting agent's 'scam'
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities
Letting agents fees and charges 'are a scam'
A protest was staged outside a London letting agents on Saturday.
The protest outside Drivers & Norris on Holloway Road was caused by the agent's decision to keep £300 paid out by a couple for reference checks, Phil and Kyri Tsappas, who were subsequently refused tenancy.
“These fees and charges are a scam”, said Mr Tsappas.
“Councils should intervene to stop lettings agents from using these charges”, he added. “The government should make it illegal to charge applicants to whom no tenancy is offered.
“The government should ensure that more council housing is built, to stop the overheating of the rental market, and provide alternatives to private renting."
However, Tony Lyndsay, Drivers & Norris Operations Director, said: "The £300 was for reference checks on the couple, £120 each and £60 for the guarantor. It was discovered during the checks that both of them and the guarantor failed the criteria.
"Prospective tenants sign a form saying that they understand that they will not be refunded should they fail the checks. The couple understood this. We also take a non-refundable fee of £500 that goes to the landlord should the referencing drag on and possible rent is lost. We actually gave them that fee back even though we didn't have to."
Mr and Mrs Tsappas are members of the Haringey Private Tenants Action Group, which is demanding secure and affordable housing for private tenants.