This is a question we get asked quite often, as standards vary depending on countries.
The answer is simple: estate agents in the UK work for landlords.
They are the people remunerating them.
So when working with British estate agents, we must never forget that they work for landlords, not tenants.
Their interest will be in obtaining as much rent as possible for the landlord, but also in closing the deal rapidly (in order to move to the next one – this is a volume business after all). Fortunately, this need for speed will sometimes counterbalance their greediness.
Unfortunately, nobody represents the tenant(s).
That is why a London relocation agent like Simply London can come in handy when negotiating a tenancy agreement, as they will be able to represent the tenant in a professional and experienced manner, avoiding the pitfalls sometimes exploited by unscrupulous estate agents.
This also removes emotions from the negotiation, making it a factual discussion between two companies (estate agent and relocation agent), as opposed to two individuals (landlord and tenant).