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Places with the highest and lowest letting agent fees

Research among over 400 agents has shown the astonishing variation in fees across England – ranging from around £72 to £1,198.

In London, where additional, separate research was carried out, the range is £60 to £810.

The research was carried out by online agent Urban and involved letting agents in 150 towns plus London.

It found that on average, the five most expensive areas for tenant fees are:

Basingstoke £621.67

Slough £543.33

Cirencester £535.00

Reading £530.62

Alwick £530.31

In contrast, the five cheapest areas on average for tenant fees are:

Habrough £136.67

Worksop £139.00

Market Harborough £153.00

Leeds £162.98

Newham £164.00

These costs were based on:

Set-up costs to prepare a tenancy agreement

Contract fees

Referencing for two people

Guarantor fees

The overall cost for an unmarried couple to move into an average rental property

Priciest individual agencies

Of the most expensive agencies, four out of the five are in or very close to the Thames Valley:

Slough £1,198

Basingstoke £1,100

Cirencester £950

Didcot £756

Reading £723

The cheapest individual agencies are based in the following locations:

Worksop £72

Cleethorpes £95

Newquay £100

Harbrough £105

Lowestoft £110

Research by Urban in London showed a similarly wide range of fees from £60 to £810.

On average, the ten most expensive areas in London for tenant fees are:

Leytonstone £560

Plaistow £558

Bow £550

Lewisham £533

Chingford £481

Royal Docks £471.50

Streatham £450

Canary Wharf £450

Notting Hill £440

South Lambeth £420

In contrast, the ten cheapest areas on average for tenant fees are:

St Johns Hill £60

Greenwich £120

Clapton £150

West Wimbledon £150

East Finchley £156

Hammersmith £165

Finchley £170

Hendon £192

Winchmore Hill £201

Wandsworth £216

The booming East End market dominates the pricey end of the list, with 50% of the top ten most expensive areas for average tenants’ fees located in this part of the capital.

Surprisingly, many of London’s most popular residential areas such as West Wimbledon, Finchley and commuter-friendly Clapham boast some of the most reasonable tenants’ fees as charged by individual letting agencies.

Priciest individual letting agencies

Breaking the research down to individual letting agency costs, the most expensive agencies are based in the following areas:

Plaistow £810

Lewisham £750

Woolwich £680

Chiswick £588

Leytonstone £570

Shepherds Bush £550

Notting Hill £550

Lewisham £550

Fulham £550

Ealing £550

Some of the cheapest individual letting agencies are based in the following locations:

St Johns Hill £60

Greenwich £120

Chiswick £120

West Central £144

Clapton £150

West Wimbledon £150

Finchley £150

Southgate £150

Woolwich £150

East Finchley £156

Interestingly, despite the area of Chiswick and Woolwich having some of the cheapest individual letting agency costs, agents in these locations also charge among the highest fees. This highlights the huge disparity of cost even within local areas.

Costly bolt-ons

The research also found a variety of additional charges. Examples include:

Photocopying. At one agency customers can be charged £5 for a copy of the tenancy agreement.

Copy of tenancy agreements. If multiple tenants require more than one copy of an original tenancy agreement from one agency, the duplicates will cost £25 a copy.

A weekend move. Moving in on a Saturday will cost an additional £90 by one letting chain.

Speeding moving. Moving quickly could incur an additional fee of £144 from one agency.

A key to the front door. One agency charges an additional £7.50.

Perhaps most surprising is the fact that personal circumstances can also influence tenant agency fees. For instance:

At one agency, getting married or divorced and changing a surname on a tenancy agreement costs £200.

If a tenant is cohabiting but not married, some agencies in certain areas will charge an additional one-off fee of £40.

Many agencies across the UK charge extra if a couple have only been living together for nine months or less when embarking on a joint tenancy.

Urban founder Adam Male said: “Many high street agents do not fully reveal all of the fees that tenants may have to pay.”

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