RENTING property can set back residents up to £622 in agent fees, a new study has revealed.

King and Chasemore has been named as the agents with the highest fees in Brighton and Hove, according to research by Generation Rent and Living Rent Brighton.

The study revealed huge discrepancies in the size of fees with some residents paying three times as much depending on which agent they used.

The study’s authors also claimed five agents in the city failed to meet industry regulations to display fees online – a claim challenged by those named and shamed.

Campaigners have welcomed Government plans to ban the agent fees but warned residents could still be splashing out for at least another year.

People renting in Brighton and Hove can expect to pay an average of £447 in letting fees when they move, a study of 112 agents revealed.

Researchers claimed King and Chasemore would charge a typical couple signing a tenancy on a two bedroom house £622 in fees while CBR Property Management charged only £200.

The report also claimed letting agents may be breaking the law with more than one in ten failing to display membership of legally mandated redress schemes. Failing to do so can land agents with fines of up to £5,000.

After researchers shared their findings with Brighton and Hove Council, nine letting agents began to comply to the regulations.

Generation Rent member Anya Martin said fees added to the unaffordability of private rented housing which is currently ten times the average income of residents.

She said: “Flat hunters in Brighton are desperate to find a suitable home at a rent they can afford. That means they’re a captive market for unscrupulous letting agents.

“We’re delighted that fees will be banned, but until this comes into force it’s important for renters to be aware of the costs.

“We hope this transparency will help our neighbours avoid the worst operators.”

A King and Chasemore spokeswoman said: “It’s critical as a lettings agent that we ensure landlords comply with all required regulations. Fundamentally that’s what keeps properties safe for tenants to live in.

“We realise many people don’t see that as obvious but it’s crucial.

“We are always reviewing our fees to ensure we remain competitive and compliant.”

Paul Andrew Estates said the firm did not have a website but fees were displayed in the firm’s offices and on Zoopla while Indigo Property Group said customers can see all fees and charges listed at the bottom of their property adverts.

01 Property Letting said the company had been sold to the Property Shop which did display its fees.