Private landlords have been urged to steer clear of letting agents in London and the south-east of England which are charging "money for nothing"renewal fees.

According to the National Landlords Association (NLA), such agents are asking landlords to pay extra money when renewing their properties to let, even though they receive no extra property management services in return.

"Why should they [landlords] have to pick up the tab just to keep the same tenants?"said John Socha, vice chairman of the group.

A survey by the NLA also found that 70 per cent of landlords view such renewal fees as "unfair".

The charges - which are said to be "unique"to some letting agents in London and the south-east - come as many private landlords are under increasing pressure to meet buy-to-let mortgage repayments in 2009.

Amid the likelihood of increased redundancies this year, an NLA poll in December found that 71 per cent of private landlords expected to encounter instances of rental arrears among their tenants this year.ADNFCR-2002-ID-18992381-ADNFCR

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