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I lived in a house for 5 years and the contract ran out in September 2012. I was in the process of buying a property, so came to an agreement with my landlady to extend my contract by one month.

 

Each year the letting agent had charged a yearly renewal fee, but even though the contract extension was for only one month, they still wanted the entire fee of £156. As far as i'm aware, by signing the contract, i was agreeing to their terms and also the fee. So I decided not to sign.

 

The deposit was paid back in December, minus an agreed amount with the landlady, but due to the house move, a new baby and a new joint bank account, i've only just got round to checking it. It was short and having phoned the estate agent, it turns out they've deducted the 'owed fee' from the deposit before returning it. So it's actually £156 short.

 

The letting agent in question is well established and also part of the tenancy deposit scheme. It's my understanding that they have no right to directly access the money from my deposit and as i never actually signed the contract extension, no right to charge me £156.

 

Obviously, i may be wrong, so was hoping for some advice on where i actually stand with this?

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The deposit is for one purpose only to cover any reasonable losses that the LL may suffer due to damage or the like to buildings and fittings.

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Is this a national chain of agencies?

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Ok this probably tea/boy/girl come office skivvy playing it hard for a few brownie points fro the manager agencies are full of them I'm afraid.

 

Do you know if this is a Ltd company or a partnership?

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The person i dealt with - i use that in the loosest sense, as they're impossible to get hold of and informed me through an answer phone message - was from their account department. I've just checked and they're a limited company.

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Hi Barry,

Name & Shame them and I'll find out what I can about them then draft a complaint for you.

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Nemo Mortalium Omnibus Horis Sapit: Animo et Fide:

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It's Kinleigh, Folkard and Hayward

 

Thanks for your help, it's very much appreciated

 

Ok leave it with me for a while.

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Hello Barry,

I suggest that you send the following to KFH by recorded delivery, envelope marked private and comfidential

 

For the personal attention of:

Mr Lee Watts

Managing Director

Kinleigh, Folkard & Hayward Ltd

KFH House

5 Compton Road

London

SW19 7QA

 

Date..............:

 

Ref: Retention of Deposit Monies.

 

Dear Mr Watts,

 

I terminated a tenancy in September 2012 managed by your branch at.................., this was extended by one month by personal agreement with the land lady, however the management at the branch wanted to charge a renewal fee of £156.00 because of this extension, which in the circumstances I considered unfair and rejected any such charge.

 

On receiving the deposit monies from the branch the £156.00 has ben retained by the branch, as you are no doubt aware or should be a deposit is intended only to if necessary to compensate the land lady for and damage etc to the rented property, therefore to deduct a management fee in this way is not permitted and the amount must be refunded immediately as such fees are entirely unrelated to deposit monies paid protected and in trust for the property owner.

 

Unless the amount of £156.00 is repaid I shall make a complaint to the Trading Standards Department local to the branch and will then consider more rigorous action if necessary.

This letter is sent by RM recorded/signed for post and its receipt will be checked.

Any Letters I Draft are N0T approved by CAG and no personal liability is accepted.

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I would also complain to the deposit scheme as they should of advised you of any disputed payment by the LL, the LA has no rights in this.

Also the monies should have been returned direct to you not via the LA.

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Great, thanks again for your help brigadier2jcs, i'll get this sent tomorrow.

 

Thanks raydetinu, that's what i thought. The message i received was very matter of fact, i presume they just expect the majority of people not to question it.

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I've just been on the Tenancy Deposit Scheme website and came across this, although i'm not sure whether it applies to me or not, as it's not strictly a dispute between myself and the landlady

 

"We must receive the dispute within three months of the end of the tenancy"

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You can only complain; once they have paid out, I understand there is no going back to them.

what LA have done is illegal and you tell them so,

Proceed as The Brigadier proposes and if no joy you will have to take them to court.

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