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May 21, 2018 | by  | in VUWSA | [ssba]


Straight up though, what the fuck are letting fees?
Last year, I rented through a private landlord and paid no letting fees. This year our flat paid $590 in letting fees – yet the same administrative processes were followed. Apparently, the letting fee covers the letting agent’s work in advertising the property, showing people around, and vetting through potential flatmates. It takes maybe half an hour tops to make a listing on TradeMe, viewings are normally 15 minutes and it’d take two or three viewings to find a tenant, and vetting tenants probably wouldn’t take that long as I imagine they’d choose the first ideal tenant application they came across. Let’s say the whole process took two hours. So you’re telling me this agent is being paid upwards of $250 an hour for this work :O
Maybe I’m way off and have no idea – but the reality is that not a lot of people actually know what the purpose of letting fees are. We do know, however, that they can be an additional financial barrier to the already onerous rental market. I know, for sure, that there’s 590 other things that I would rather spend that money on. That’s like 29 boxes of Heiny’s, or 196 pieces of KFC chicken (has to be thigh pieces though) :).
Luckily for students, the Government is currently reviewing the Residential Tenancy Act and part of that is deciding whether or not to give letting fees the boot! We need your help in getting rid of them though, so please fill out a submission on our website about your experiences with letting fees at We know that our voice is powerful — we got a 25% public transport discount for students – now let’s get rid of letting fees once and for all.


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