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Hi all,

 

I noticed that I will not have enough money in my bank account to cover my rent for the 1st January, but I will receive my student loan on the 14th where I can pay it in full. I have never missed a rent payment in nearly 2 years of tenancy. I emailed the agent if they could show leniency and waive the £35 reminder letter fee which is laid out in the contract as -

 

4.3 The Tenant shall pay interest at the rate of [4] % per annum above The Bank ofEngland's base rate on any rent lawfully due that is paid more than 14 days after thedate on which it became due. The interest will be payable from the date the rentshould have been paid until the date the rent is actually paid.

and

4.6: Late payment of rent. Reminder letters will be charged at £29.16 plus vat £35.00 perletter sent subject to a maximum of four letters per month

 

The agent replied and said no, the system will send out 2 reminder letters by the 14th which will equal a £70 fee, and if I don't pay they will take it out of my deposit. I believe that the reminder letters are electronic and this would be an unreasonable sum. I also asked them that why are these necessary when I have let them know in advance I can't afford the payment and I am waiting for a reply. The contract does not lay out above the 'schedule' for sending these letters and it was only the agent via email who told me they are sent once every 7 days as the clause is unclear in that respect. The only reason I brought up unreasonableness to the agent via email was because they straight away mentioned the contract which led me to inspect it.

 

In terms of the deposit the contract/tenancy agreement says -

 

5.3: At the end of the Tenancy, the Landlord/ agent shall be entitled to withhold fromthe Deposit such proportion of the Deposit as may be reasonably necessary to:(a) make good any damage to the Property or the Contents (except for fair wearand tear) caused by the Tenant's failure to take reasonable care of theProperty or Contents;(b) replace any of the Contents which may be missing from the Property;© pay for the Property and the Contents to be cleaned if the Tenant is inbreach of its obligations under clause 3.1 or clause 9.1.

 

I do not believe this has any provision for withholding my deposit on the basis of late rent payment/admin fees. Am I correct? Furthermore, I have a question about the deposit. The contract was signed online and doesn't have much info about the deposit other than it will be registered with the government deposit protection service and I didn't have to sign anything related to it from what I remember. I have also been in the house for longer than the other 2 tenants, and paid the £400 deposit when I moved in but not again when the new tenants moved and swapped the old 2 tenants in and a new TA was signed. Is this suspicious at all?

 

But yeah... does anyone have any advice? Should I cough it up or just pay the rent and wait to see if they deduct from my deposit at the end?

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well, according to their rules you will pay no interest on the late payment and the reminder letters are nothing to do with your LL and as you have already let them know about your problem they cant justify saying in advance that it is too late to stop an automated letter when it isnt automated. basically this is an unfair clause in a contract and that means you have the right to reject it. Ultimately you can reject the whole tenancy agreement but as you have lived there for more than a month that will be a damned sight harder to show you dont accept the terms from the off.

 

I would contact the actual landlord and tell them about this problem and that you will have to sue them to recover the £70 charged by the agents and perhaps they would prefer to speak to the agents and instruct them to behave themselves.

Edited by honeybee13
Paras

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Thanks, I'll contact the landlord.

I definitely think it is unfair I just don't have the money/time to take it to a tribunal or whatever.

 

The agent just replied and ignored everything I said and backtracked saying

'As long as you pay on the 14th you will only be charged the one £35 fee'

ignoring me asking them to explain why it costs so much to send an automatically generated letter and why they are claiming they can take it from my deposit.

 

Is it worth emailing them back or should I just leave it for now until they charge me?

 

I have seen one of their demanding payments letters and it is just a typed letter with £35 added on to the initial rent saying if you don't pay court proceedings will proceed.

 

No summary of rights.

It's also not an automatic charge.

Edited by dx100uk
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Hi

 

I have to agree with ericsbrother you need to also try and speak to the actual landlord and try and negotiate with them as you need to remember the Agent is actually employed by the Landlord

 

If your Deposit is in a Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) then they just can't up and help themselves to it as they seem to imply not until your the tenancy has ended (you have handed property back as per your legal requirement).

 

After property handed back this is where they go via TDS to recoup any monies owed but you also have the right to object to TDS and await there final decision.

 

Is you deposit protected in a Tenancy Deposit Scheme?: https://www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection

 

Also have a look at these CAG links:

 

https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?492006-Homes-(Fitness-for-Human-Habitation)-Act-2018-received-Royal-Assent-20th-Dec-2018(1-Viewing)-nbsp

 

https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?455224-Private-Renting-Home-Owner-Shared-Owner-Leasehold-etc-Information


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the fee will be separate as the rent goes to the landlord so they cant just bung this onto your rent account.

If there is a contractual obligation then they have to bill your separately to your rent and hope that you pay it without them having to resport to legal action to recover it.

 

in the unlikely event things get that far they will find it difficult to justify charging you for sending out a letter telling you what you told them beforehand.

there is a term known as "churning" used in ther financial world and that means charging for doing unnecessary things just to create a turnover for the company.

that would apply here.

 

Banks cant do it either.

Edited by dx100uk
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Not sure that the landlord will be too sympathetic. Yes the letter charge is ridiculous and could obviously challenged in Court but the landlord may well require the rent in order to pay the mortgage on the property. If that payment doesn't go through in time that would damage their credit rating

as well as being clumped by their bank or Building Society.

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Hey guys, update:

I paid the rent 14 days late and received an email rent demand. The demand does not have the address of the landlord, or the agent. As I have now paid the rent, and they didn't serve the section 47 rent demand correctly, am I not liable to pay the associated £35 admin charge for late rent? I am in an assured shorthold tenancy.

 

Thanks for all your responses so far. I didn't pay the admin charge and am currently having a long email discussion/argument with agents.

 

They also just emailed me saying:

 

'The fee is deemed transparent and fair; it is outlined within your Assured Shorthold Tenancy, Clause 4.6, which has been signed by all tenants and the sum is deemed fair and industry standard.

The charge is to cover a person’s administration function associated with arrears chasing.

The email below issued to you by jimbob, is dated 11.01.19 and is notifying you that you are late with your rental payment, which was due on 01.01.19. Whether or not an amount of the email is standard text, jimbob has an administration process to follow to determine the correct status of your account. The fee is for the function to check systems, banks, review your individual account on our database and then include specific details on the “template” email then follow this up with an email and / or conversation to the Landlord advising of the non-receipt of rent.'

Edited by peaklite

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ignore them

block and bounce their email address

 

dx

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why would i ignore them?

 

i'd rather have them just lay off me so my housemates can stop asking me about the issue :razz:

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how do they know you are getting the emails they don't now

simply write one last one stating that their emails addresses will now be blocked and bounced back

 

they cant do anything to you

you gave them a cheap and free way to harass you by giving it to them in the 1st place.

 

dx


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I understand they can't do anything, but I gave the agents my email a couple of years ago when I moved in and then when I renewed my contract last year. I also rely on it for information about maintenance and repairs and general contacting the landlord.

 

Am I still correct in saying that the admin charges are invalid due to the improperly served rent notice?

 

Thanks

Edited by dx100uk
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Just type no need to keep hitting reply with quote

 

I think they would have a hard time in court and tds


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if they need to sen you information they can write a letter and post it to you. that will cost them money so they will only send stuff that is necessary. stop inventing excuses and take action if you want to get anywhere with this. tyhe more you react to their demands the more they think it likely they will succeed. A sharp letter telling them you arent paying it because and leave it at that is best. If the rent is them paid on time until the end of the tenancy they will have nowhere to go with this demand as the LL wont be entertaining paying them and may well question his relationship with the agents.

 

My younger daughter had problems with the letting agents at the end of her tenancy last year, a copy of the last word on the matter to the owners of the property was enough to get them to wind their necks in.

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Just do what I do every time my lettings agent ask for money - Just ask them how they intend to extract it from you? All these lettings fees are a load of nonsense and as long as your nose is clean they'd have a hard time taking you to court over £35. They'd also need the landlords approval to evict you, and why would they go that far for the sake of £35? The e-mails they send requesting this money bear about as much importance as standard DCA letters you would get.

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Thanks guys. That was a good explanation of why I shouldn't reply. If they continue emailing me I'll send them a final email.

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