Letting agents cheating landlords

With the UKs housing market in turmoil, there are and estimated 3.2 homes on the rental market, with almost six in every ten needlessly losing the owners money every year.

That is according to a study from Smartlandlord.co.uk, which concluded that the average landlord is paying around £1,550 per property per year for lettings agency services they could find online for £100.

Managing director Keshav Thukaram pointed out that homeowners were being squeezed by the economic climate and that it was important to manage finances properly.

"There are more landlords in the UK than ever before, as people who cant sell their properties try to rent them out," he explained.

According to the evidence put forward by the company, lettings agents routinely charge £200 to produce documents that can be acquired on the internet for free.

It suggested that the average landlord was losing £5,681 across their portfolio over 20 months – the average length of a tenancy.

This is money that could be put towards more productive things, such as adding a roof light to help make use of loft space.

The housing market looks set to continue to stagnate after the Council of Mortgage lenders reported lending in February dropped to an eight-year low.