Private Sector Letting Agents
Agencies are private companies and there are no limits on the fees they can charge to arrange new tenancies.
If an agent is dealing with a tenancy re-assignment or renewal, they can only charge fees that are mentioned in the existing lease. If the existing lease says they can charge a fee for something but does not give an amount, the fee is negotiable. You can ask for a breakdown and if you feel the fee is unreasonable, you can contact Trading Standards. They cannot charge a for fee something that is not mentioned in the lease. If they try, you can contact Trading Standards.
What you should budget for when looking for accommodation
You will need to allow for a deposit, rent to be paid in advance and if using an accommodation agency, their fees. The deposit is often the same as one month’s rent.
Many landlords ask for references. You are not obliged to provide references but if you chose not to, the landlord is not obliged to accept you as a tenant.