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Everything posted by kaladorm

  1. The TPO has written back to me and said that they will not be assessing the case, as they cover section 8a of the TPO code of practice that the agreement should be transparent to compy with the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations 1999, not to assess whether a term actually *is* unfair, that that would be a matter for the courts to decide.
  2. Just a start but I have found these links to be incredibly useful, particularly of late The Property Ombudsman Code of Practice for Letting Agents: http://www.tpos.co.uk/downloads/IEL02-3%20Code%20of%20Practice%20for%20Residential%20Letting%20Agents.pdf Guidance on Unfair Terms in Tenancy Agreements - Ofcom http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/reports/unfair_contract_terms/oft356.pdf
  3. That document from the OFT is brilliant thanks Damocles! I've decided to refer the issue to The Property Ombudsman for review but will keep you updated on any results. FYI here is the latest reply, note that half of these actions haven't been done (as there's no renewal) and they also imply that the tenant is responsible for some of their communications with the landlord - they also charge the landlord a similar fee however...
  4. Spoke to the Head of Property Management today (also concerning some maintenance issues). Essentially relayed all my discussion points from the previous posts. He wasn't willing to accept my assertion, or confirm the previous email I have acknowledging the work required is minimal. He stated that the work involved was sending emails, contacting the landlord etc. and updating the system, even though no contract had been renewed. I pointed out that, should they have not done this work, the tenancy would be in the exact state it is in now. He also didn't seem to understand my point about the contract being between myself and the landlord, so even if the agent wanted to enforce the charge the landlord would have to sue for breach of contract. I am a little concerned that there is also a clause in the contract stating they can charge £25 for each letter sent for overdue moneys owed, so they may just start hurling charges left right and centre. There are also multiple other clauses in the contract for charges where they take £75 out of the deposit for checking out as well which we'll have to deal with when the time comes. I suspect I will be hearing from their lawyers soon however. I believe I have a very strong case, I just need to work out how much hassle my sense of justice can afford
  5. It's what I intend to do, as I'm fully confident that it cannot be upheld. I suspect what will happen is they will go quiet and seek to claim through the TDS, as there is a clause in the contract allowing them to subtract moneys owed under the deposit (and they will argue it is owed). Rather than take me to court for the money, it's far easier for them to wait until the end of the tenancy, make the claim, and require me to go to court to get it 'back'.
  6. My understanding: 1. No it shouldn't matter, though you'll need records to show it has been paid (when and how much) 2. Some time ago you could, there was a case where it was ruled that you couldn't however. If you get your deposit back I wouldn't risk it and try to claim anyway. 3. The submission fee a few years ago was around £220 or so. It may have gone up since then but it's around that number and that's about it. If unsuccessful you could be responsible for legal fees of the landlord - these are expected to be reasonable for a small claims court but could still be costly. If successful the judgement will include your costs as well as basic interest from the time the deposit was due back.
  7. I wouldn't bother chasing it, getting the money back is the key thing. Given there were some recent rulings which didn't go in favour of the tenant because the deposit had already been returned, I think you'll be risking some time/money for something that's not guaranteed
  8. I understand your logic here but not sure if that is actually the case. Wouldn't that imply that the other clauses of the tenancy agreement also do not apply, in which case I can start lighting small fires, making excessive noise, subletting and bringing in pets all with impunity?
  9. Ah so this is the key part that applies, following the case? "Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999" http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1999/2083/contents/made
  10. The only requirement I can see is that it is written into the contract. I did quote this on another thread but for reference:
  11. I don't intend to pay it and will be informing them as such. I'm looking for something a bit more formal I can use though rather than just telling them to get stuffed.
  12. I believe I asked this question a little while back and got the expected answer. I'm hoping now someone can help me with finding some some direct evidence or regulation I can quote to confirm that, should the contract move onto a statutory periodic tenancy, that a renewal fee cannot be charged. For reference when I challenged why the letting agent sent me a renewal invoice charge of £100 for a contract I am not renewing, I received the following response: Any advice welcomed
  13. I think your questions have been answered pretty well by the other guys already! I don't believe you have to notify the landlady that you are taking action as by filing a claim she will be notified that that has happened. Having said that, a stern letter than states your intentions and exactly what part of the law she is in breach of (and what the penalties are) may prompt her into returning the full deposit. In our case our LL's had the deadly combination of both ignorance and arrogance which led to things progressing so far, sounds like your LL is fairly ignorant of the law so you just need to find out where she stands on the arrogance Whilst getting 3xdeposit plus costs etc. is a nice goal, ultimately you want your money back with the minimum of fuss. I would have been happy to have my original deposit back plus the costs it took me to get it back, the fact that it took nearly a year to get the 3x deposit was a lot of work, and there were certainly many steps that could have been made a lot harder or even fallen through completely.
  14. I'd recommend spelling it out to the landlord exactly what situation he is in (even quote directly from the housing act) as he may just be trying to bully you out of the deposit. Explain that if he doesn't return the deposit in full that you'll begin court proceedings. You may even have to file the claim before he takes note which will cost somewhere in the region of £100 (I forget exactly), however given you were considering making deductions anyway this should be a reasonable cost if he backs down. And if he doesn't, well you get your costs back when you win
  15. Read through the rest and you'll see it took nearly a year to actually get the money. Good story though
  16. Good news, that case about a year ago was ridiculous as setting a precedent :-/
  17. Done and done. £407.40 saved in rent and fees. Not a bad morning's work
  18. Just received a standard format letter from them which requires me to sign an extension to the assured shorthold tenancy agreement. The extension includes amendments to the break clauses. *This* is how they get to charge a fee, by essentially signing you up to a contract that is functionally identical to an SPT but is in fact an extension of the original contract. Clever little f*ers I'm not too bothered though as though they said there'd be a rent increase the letter states it'll be at the old rental. Admin fail = tenant win
  19. Maybe it wasn't clear, the option they have given is to go onto STP and pay £90 or to sign for a fixed term 12 month contract (i.e. a new contract, cannot cancel or give notice within first 12 months...) and waive the fee. I'm taking the option of going onto STP (just nice to have 2 months notice as an option) and not paying the fee - win win for LL and I, not so much for the letting agency
  20. I think if it went to court I'd feel uncomfortable basing my case on the grounds of a typo . It was well worth going to court for the case mentioned above but I've had enough of it for the short term At any rate it's not a big deal, I've not yet accepted the revised fixed term agreement and given they seem to be fairly useless at keeping on top of paperwork I'm inclined to leave it until they decide to make an issue of it. I'm confident I can back my corner. Only £80 but hey, keep fighting the good fight. Don't want to let you guys down
  21. Oh ho, hidden towards the back of the tenancy agreement 'Should the tenant remain in the property beyond the dixed term, whether this Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement has been renewed or if the Tenancy becomes a Stautory Periodic Tenancy, a renewal fee of £89.50 + VAT is payable immediately by the Tenant to the Landlord's Agent' Still not convinced, despite it being in the contract, that this is legal though I know its shaky ground.
  22. Forgot to add - I believe from everything I've read so far the STP can't be subject to a renewal fee, before I confuse any other readers. I was looking for confirmation (or a more direct reference outside the Foxtons vs OFT case) that this is true
  23. Hi guys, you might remember me from the post above with the saga of the unprotected deposit. I'm back and have a question for the community We're renting and it's the time of year when our contract is due to be renewed. The letter we received was worded rather strangely though, I'm paraphrasing: Your contract is due for renewal, subject to a £90+vat charge. If you wish to take out a fixed term contract of 12 months we will waive this charge. We're happy to stay another year so agreed to the renewal, however they then came back after the agreement and said the rent would increase. Again no problem as the place is a bargain and we're happy here However I challenged them on whether we would remain on our original contract (and rent) if we didn't renew - £90 is cheaper than the increase after a few months. They didn't seem to understand the question, I think people normally just suck it up and pay what they say. Anyway as I understand it the LL is perfectly entitled to increase the rent so again, no real issues here. My question however, on looking into it further, is this. The agency is offering to waive the fee if we take out a fixed term contract of 12 months. If we don't take out the fixed term contract however, we would automatically end up with an Statutory Periodic Tenancy (SPT). So how can the agent charge a renewal fee of £90 if we choose not to sign? I have checked the rental agreement and specifically 'If the tenant remains in the property beyond the initial fixed term and no new fixed term tenancy comes into being then the Tenant will have a Stautory periodic Tenancy by virtue of Section 5 of the Housing Act 1998', so not worried about it rolling into a CPT. Thoughts?
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