There are various time consuming administrative jobs required to establish due diligence.
These jobs are not free in that someone has to pay.
Who should pay the costs of: setting up a tenancy, vetting and credit checking? Presently (2013) parliament is debating the justification for such fees.
In Scotland the 1984 Rent Act prohibits administration per-tenancy fees. There are concerns that England may follow.
These jobs cannot all be conducted in-house by letting agencies – some jobs require outside organizations to act, precisely because they must be seen to be independent, i.e. unbiased, such as inventory clerks. The reasoning is that, in the event of a dispute, a court can see that there is likely to be impartiality, since inventory clerks must work to a set code of practice.
Others jobs require specialist access to protected data enabling credit checks.
The agency pays these fees and recovers them form landlords and tenants.