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Letting Agency refusing to refund holding fee

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I've edited the letter making it in her name.

 

Thanks so far for the replies:)

emma letter.doc

LQ.jpg

Edited by CBA

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You need to remove your personal details from the letter.

 

Why do you think they take such a fee? It is commonplace for the agency to undertake credit cheques prior to allowing a tenant into a property.

 

The letter should be written in your girlfriend's name. The letting agent would be within their rights to ignore your letter, as they see it, it is nothing to do with you.


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It is commonplace, but not all agencies will carry out a credit check and the point I'm trying to make is that had my Girlfriend been told that a credit check was part of the acceptance procedure she would have stopped right there and then since she has a bad credit history. shouldn't the agency have informed her of their credit checking policy, since they could make a fortune from people with poor credit histories by repeating this "pay fee, fail check, your'e screwed" procedure again and again.

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2 points here. I beleive it is an offence to carry out a crediot check without the persons consent. Secondlyt, as the person was not aware they were duped out of their £200. That is obtaining money by deception.

 

I would not send that letter at all, but bring in the police instead.

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Yeah, I was thinking that.

They did deceive her by not telling her that the application could fail upon checking her credit rating... but I'm not running down to the station just yet, I hope to just put my case across in the best way possible and get my money back without involving anyone else...

I will try the police Idea but I doubt they'll take it seriously...

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I've edited the letter making it in her name.

Also changed receipt picture to better quality

Thanks so far for the replies:)

Edited by CBA

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It stinks of [problem] to me.

 

The critical thing is that she was not asked for consent to a credit check. With her credit history you say she would never have gone for that, so it makes perfect sense. I believe she was not asked or told about the credit check and would suggest this is just a quick buck [problem].

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It stinks of [problem] to me.

 

The critical thing is that she was not asked for consent to a credit check. With her credit history you say she would never have gone for that, so it makes perfect sense. I believe she was not asked or told about the credit check and would suggest this is just a quick buck [problem].

 

So where do you think I stand, should I confront the place personally?

Should I go down the money by deception route?

Would sending the letter do any harm? should I try something else first?

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Guest Amberloz

I always make sure that the tenant fills out and signs a consent form allowing me to carry out a credit check. This is due to the data protection act.

If this tenancy was for your girlfriend then she really needs to talk to them as I dont think they would talk to you about it.

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I'm going to get my gf to go and sort it out...

I suppose she just highlights the problems, shows what is wrong then if they don't pay it's off to trading standards for tea and crumpets?

What should she say? take note of the word doc attached and the receipt...

Are there any other agencies that might be interested in this agencies conduct?

Edited by CBA

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I've edited the letter making it in her name.

 

Thanks so far for the replies:)

 

I note that is says on the receipt you added that it will not be refunded in the event of a failed application. That is your position. I do understand that is does not expressly state the money will not be refunded if you fail a credit check and it should be clearer.

 

Have a go by all means, but I think you are going to have some difficulty.

 

I would say that they have breached the DPA and that should be your angle to apply pressure.

 

If you are going after them, then write a letter saying you are going to commence legal proceedings if they do not pay in say 14 days, but only do this if you are prepared to commence.

Edited by GuidoT
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Guest Amberloz

I think they have breached the Data Protection Act so I would get your girlfriend to say this when you see the agent or when she writes to them. I still dont understand why agents charge £200+ for credit checks as I only pay £30 quid for mine and we dont charge them for it. I work for a private landlord that has alot of properties.

 

I would go down the road of giving them 14 days to resond to the letter and then go ahead with legal proceedings but I will point out that it will cost a bit for it to go to court and you might not get your money back.

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Ok, thanks people, I've drawn up my final letter, mentioning Data protection, trading standards...

14 days to pay or to small claims court we go.

They have no signed paperwork whatsoever, so cannot produce any documents in court, the credit check was never authorised in writing, in person or by phone

so the DPA has certainly been breeched.

Also the information regarding the holding fee and credit checks was not given to my GF, and so that would be "witholding information" which is lying, which in the case of them ending up with the fee does constitute a case of obtaining money by deception... they should just pay the money back, or goto court and have fun with no paperwork:eek: and a possible criminal charge... moving out of county court and on to the magistrates if they don't play their cards right...

which looking at their skill so far they can't do to save their gentleman's vegetables.

 

Thanks to all contributors! :)

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Guest Amberloz

Good Luck

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Shops often have a 'policy' of no refunds. Sometimes companies refuse credit cards under £5. Some people have policies where they only issue credit notes and not refunds.

 

This agent has a policyb of taking £200 and keeping it. However, policy and law are different. The £200 was taken as a deposit and the client was not told it was non refundable. They were also not told about a credit check.

 

The fact that it is written on the back of a receipt is not binding as any contract has to be agreed verbally or in writing. She didn't sign, wasn't told and thus there was no agreement. they would lose in court.

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I think they know they would lose, so I expect with a little luck they will just pay out. Thanks for all the advice, Will tell you the outcome, letter is going in post sometime today.

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There seem to be a few of these things around. You should get together and compare notes.

 

Agencies can take payments to cover administrative costs, but if it is not stated that the payment is for such costs it appears that it probably should be refunded if either party cannot proceed.

 

See the following, and the other thread I linked to.

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/residential-commercial-lettings/237067-holding-deposit-query-250-a.html

 

I am not a lawyer. I got the information from a legal site.

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The letter is in the post, It's pretty good, If it was addressed to you you would be "Passing" Bricks:-x

If it doesn't work I'm off to county court, but it should work, they haven't the slightest case to put across, they did not give all the facts - they broke the DPA, they withheld important information... they did plenty enough to get into trouble... fingers crossed they just return the money, and even if they do I'm still reporting them to the Information commissioner people, they're breaking the law and ripping people off, someone should put a stop to it and I'm stubborn and determined enough to do it:mad:

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