Wednesday 19 March 2014

What's the big secret with letting agents?

Only 2% of estate agents openly disclose their fees on their website, according to an FT article. 82% make no mention of fees at all, whilst a third still refuse to divulge such basic information over the phone!

Why the secretive cloak and dagger stuff?

Whilst some agents may say it’s because “every property is different” I would argue it’s merely a tactic to try and get in front of the owner, give them the hard sell, charge as much as they think they can get away with and get the contract signed before they have a chance to digest all the information.

Paula Higgins, chief executive of the HomeOwners Alliance, said: “Agents are far too secretive about the fees they charge, and too often include blatantly unfair terms and conditions in their contracts.”

Mr Jones, an IFA, said that “homeowners are being charged a range of hidden fees, but people don’t want the hassle of looking elsewhere”.

This resonated this week when I met a couple who had been told they needed a new EPC for their property (something the agent would happily provide for £100). However, when I looked on the national EPC register I found an in-date EPC for the property, meaning this was a completely unnecessary expense.

And this tactic doesn’t just stop at the landlords. I asked one agent what agency fees they charged prospective tenants, to be told “£330”. Quite a lot I said, but at least you don’t charge any extra fees during the tenancy. “Oh, of course we do” the lady added, “£90 for the check-out and £60 at each tenancy renewal”.

I am proud that our fees are not only competitive, but, importantly, they are totally transparent. Our service levels and fees are listed on our website so you know exactly what you’re getting:

Let us know if you feel you’ve ever been charged unfairly by an agent or have suffered from the dreaded ‘small print’ in a contract.


If you are looking for an agent that is well-establishedprofessional and communicative in Chichester, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your investment property.

E-mail me on or call 01243 624 599.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view my previous buy-to-let deals and Chichester Property News articles:

c/o CRJ Lettings, 30B Southgate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1DP

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