Housing charities are calling on the government to introduce legislation to stop landlords charging prospective tenants, in what's being called "viewing fees".
Housing charity Threshold revealed that one woman contacted them after she was charged €500 euro to view a property.
Currently, there are no laws to prevent landlords from charging future tenants to view a property. The news stacks up alongside stories of tenants being charged astronomical amounts for shared accommodation, exterior buildings 'transformed' into bedrooms, or one-bedroom apartments. Students are regularly asked to give deposits before or after viewing accommodation.
According to Breaking News, Chief executive of Threshold John-Mark McCafferty says the "viewing fee" allows landlords to discriminate between tenants based on their financial income:
It provides a barrier where there is so little to let. Everyone will grudge paying that - but those on middle to high incomes will feel 'well, what choice do I have? I really want a shot at this accommodation.Now for people who are on lower incomes, people who are on Rent Supplement or HAP, it's clearly way beyond many of their capacity to do.
According to the Journal.ie, one woman who was part of HAP, a rental scheme, paid €300 to an agency. The agency later informed the woman that the property was above her HAP limit and she could not sign a lease. The agency refused to refund her money.