Around 23% of people surveyed by the housing charity Shelter believed they had been landed with unfairly high fees for aspects of renting such as credit checks, renewing contracts and "administration".
Shelter said it had found cases of renters being charged more than £150 for repeat credit checks every year, which the charity said actually cost between £8 and £25 to perform.
It said some people were being charged £100 just to view a property and renters were being charged up to £540 in non-refundable "administration" fees.
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John Cantlie, who worked for a number of Fleet Street newspapers, is thought to have been taken hostage in November 2012.