Shelter combats ‘rip-off’ fees

A HOMELESSNESS charity has launched a nationwide campaign to help private sector tenants reclaim fees they say are unlawfully charged by letting agents.

Shelter Scotland is launching – an advice website with a step-by-step guide to help private tenants reclaim charges made for credit checks, reference checks, preparing and checking an inventory and other upfront fees.

Last year, Scott Kuzu, 31, from Muirhouse, took a city agency to the small claims court to reclaim £320 he paid for a flat he was never allowed to rent and won his case.

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Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said: “Over 272,650 families and individuals in Scotland call the private rented sector home, and that number is rising.

“That some letting agents – established and new – are routinely ripping off tenants by charging extortionate and unjustified upfront fees is shocking and quite simply exploitative.”