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New Tenancy Agreement - Admin Fee?


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I am moving into a new house at the end of the month, looked at the house, paid the agreed deposit.

Now having recieved the contract, a small note at the bottom (not part of the contract), mentions that an Admin fee of £50 also needs to be paid.

This is the first time they have mentioned an admin fee, it is written no where but this note. Can they demand such a payment, or can I request a break down of costs and proof that any such agreement was made before the deposit was paid.

Just a note its a agent who deals with new tenants, showing them around, and not the landlord. Though I would expect the landlord to foot this bill.

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Blitz

Ex-Retail Manager who is happy to offer helpful advise in many consumer problems based on my retail experience. Any advise I do offer is my opinion and how I understand the law.

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Most agents have an admin fee, £50 is very reasonable, i think you will find so i'd pay up and be quiet if i were you:D

I QUESTION THEREFORE I AM!! [sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

 

Unfortunately i'm not an expert in any given field legally and my advice and that of the Consumer Action Group and the Bank Action Group is given without prejudice and without liability so please if in any doubt whatsoever seek help from an insured qualified professional. Contents of my posts are purely my own personal opinions and not condoned or endorsed in any way, shape or form by CAG. Thank you! :p

 

 

I have been smoke-free for 4yrs

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reasonable :'(

Just annoyed that they have waited till 1 week before I move in to tell me

Ex-Retail Manager who is happy to offer helpful advise in many consumer problems based on my retail experience. Any advise I do offer is my opinion and how I understand the law.

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  • 8 months later...

I know Hutcheon Solicitors are involved in this debate about unfair tenancy fees also. I think it is more about landlords being charged renewal fees by letting agents over the last 6 years though.

 

Can Landlords Claim Back Renewal Fees Over Last 6 Years ?

Kind regards

 

Sean Tyrer

http://myvesta.org.uk

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There is a case ongoing at the moment between the OFT and Foxtons, as they have a clause in their contracts, like most agencies these days, to claim commission if a tenant they originally found renews or buys the property, whether they are involved or not. Totally unfair! It will be interesting to see what the outcome is. If successful they intend to enforce compliance throughout the letting industry, wherever similar terms are being used...

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There is a case ongoing at the moment between the OFT and Foxtons, as they have a clause in their contracts, like most agencies these days, to claim commission if a tenant they originally found renews or buys the property, whether they are involved or not. Totally unfair! It will be interesting to see what the outcome is. If successful they intend to enforce compliance throughout the letting industry, wherever similar terms are being used...

 

I understand that the OFT have been under political pressure to take this action - and they are using the unfair terms in consumer contracts regulations for their case.

 

I think they will be hard pushed to win this. In almost every case I have attended in landlord and tenant hearings, the judge assumes that the landlord is a professional businessman - and so the documentation should be viewed on that basis. It follows then that the relationship between landlord and letting agent is one of business to business, not a run-of-the-mill consumer.

On some things I am very knowledgeable, on other things I am stupid. Trouble is, sometimes I discover that the former is the latter or vice versa, and I don't know this until later - maybe even much later. Read anything I write with the above in mind.

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Even though I don't like Est Agents I to am in 2 minds about this case . The clause is clearly intended to stop an abuse which was once common amongst sellers & buyers

 

The EA would send the buyer to view who would claim they weren't interested only to approach the seller very soon after, often by arrangement with the seller, claiming a change of mind. This meant that the buyer & the seller avoiding the fees or even got a slight price reduction.

 

I think it's this scenario that the court considers when making Judgment. So the OFT, not for the 1st time, could be flogging a dead horse

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The EA would send the buyer to view who would claim they weren't interested only to approach the seller very soon after, often by arrangement with the seller, claiming a change of mind. This meant that the buyer & the seller avoiding the fees or even got a slight price reduction.

 

Since the Land Registry data became publicly available I know of a large chain that recovers ten times the cost of researching this.

 

The file for every instruction that is withdrawn is sent to a particular office, and they have some back office staff that just keep an eye on the land registry for the next year. Whenever a new entry appears on the register they spend their £3 and get a copy of the title deed. If the property has been sold they then look for the buyers name on any of the viewers listed of file. The hit rate is around 18% of withdrawn instructions.

On some things I am very knowledgeable, on other things I am stupid. Trouble is, sometimes I discover that the former is the latter or vice versa, and I don't know this until later - maybe even much later. Read anything I write with the above in mind.

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The agent's fee is normally for the drawing up of contracts and for assessing the potential of a prospective lessee to pay the rent on time, usually done by a credit check. In many cases this can be as much as £150.00 per property. The fee is usually payable up front, so as to enable the agent to initiate the checks etc. You would normally be required to sign an agreement to have the checks etc done for the stated fee.

 

In this case, it seems that the fee they have now asked for is not one that was agreed to prior to you paying the deposit and entering into an agreement to take on the property. Whether they are legally allowed to ask for this fee depends on where it is written that they will be charging it. If it is a footnote to the contract, then it is deemed that the contract will only go ahead on payment of this fee. If it is not actually on the contract, and is just in a letter from them, you have the right to challenge them about it.

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  • 9 months later...

I wish my tenancy fee would have been £50 but it was £200. But the estate agency in question doesn't do any checks themselves, instead they employ a reference check agency who treat you like a criminal. The human right act covers: "freedom from degraded treatment" and "the right to a fair trial". Always remeber your rights, people, whatever you do in life. Always figth against any injustice.

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There's probably nothing you can do apart from cancel the contract and reclaim your deposit. It's just reason 2,376 why letting agents are in desperate need of reform.

 

It might be possible to report it to TS as an unfair practice, but unfortunately there is no right of redress for an individual consumer.

Post by me are intended as a discussion of the issues involved, as these are of general interest to me and others on the forum. Although it is hoped such discussion will be of use to readers, before exposing yourself to risk of loss you should not rely on any principles discussed without confirming the situation with a qualified person.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 5 months later...

My niece and 4 student friends signed up to take on a house from August 2009. They did not read the small print. It appears that EACH of them has paid £136.48 as an agreement fee to the letting agency! Surely this is a completely unreasonable sum to charge - especially to students? Admittedly they could have read the small print - but students in particular do not understand what is 'normal' practice as this is often their first rental. Is there an ombudsman who could look at this and similar cases? It seems to me that the letting agencies are making excessive charges to a group of people who can ill afford it.

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I think you will have a tough time trying to get any money back on this. Provided that the fees were on the paperwork, most likely the agent will be covered.

 

In our office, the fees we charge tenants are about the lowest in the town. The boss in our agency got his niece to do mystery shop last month finding out what all the others charge. He is now thinking of raising our tenants fees by at least 40%. If the tenants moan, we can 'do them a special deal' and knock off the extra.

 

If they don't moan and pay it, I'll get that bit extra commission :p

On some things I am very knowledgeable, on other things I am stupid. Trouble is, sometimes I discover that the former is the latter or vice versa, and I don't know this until later - maybe even much later. Read anything I write with the above in mind.

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  • 3 months later...

I am an agent myself and any fees should be made clear at the original application for the tenancy, we do charge an admin fee but tenants are pointed this out before they hand over any deposits including holding deposits. a note on the tenancy agreement halfway down the line is just no good and its agents like this that give the few honest ones a bad rep. We make these fees very clear from the outset and then if the tenant is unhappy it is completely there option whether or not they want to proceed. This way they will not loose any holding deposits if they choose not to proceed.

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