Places with the highest and lowest letting agent fees

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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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Written by: Houseladder