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.

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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.

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.”