Most Letting Agents will ask students to pay certain fees when renting a house through them, and this is part of how they generate revenue as a business. The fees charged vary from agency to agency. Agencies are within their rights to ask for these fees in return for their service, however, it is important to remember that they have a commercial interest in levying such charges. Ensure you are aware of ALL fees and obtain confirmation in writing as to under what conditions this money will be returned.
There are no fees to use the Student Accommodation office's private sector website HouseSearch. This site displays adverts of properties for rent in the local area. You can deal directly with the landlord and there are no fees to students. Any fees the landlord may charge should be clearly detailed on the advert.