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LazyPeon

£300 Fees Up Front

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I viewed a nice 2 bed flat in Bristol yesterday £475/mo which I'd like to go for but the EA wants £300 up front in fees :blink:

That's all fees, no part of that is a holding deposit or anything returnable. (Actual deposit is the usual 1 month+ 1st month up front).

I protested at this asking him to break it down and justify it which he wouldn't beyond vaguely rattling off the normal list of expenses which most EA's charge a lot less for, and refused to back down on the price. He did say he'd take off VAT :huh:

When I stressed my risk of losing that money only to have to risk it again on the next EA he eventually said something to the effect of 'oh don't worry i'll handle it, if it does go wrong I'll make sure you get your £300 back. I might lose a bit on my expenses but i'll look after you'.

He is all but transparently admitting that this money is profit in his pocket and that's the deal like it or lump it.

Now this guy is the owner of the firm (mucking in during hard times, one branch closed etc) so I guess he has the sayso to return the money if I don't meet their standards, but that doesn't stop me feeling anxious.

It's a decent place at a reasonable rent, with apparently good landlords - rich family trust, owned outright, all their contacts laid out neatly in a folder in the kitchen.

I've been renting a similar place for 3 years but for £100 more and endless problems with maintenance, rats and absentee LL so I want out.

My credit rating is diabolical, but for 3 years I have had a solid IT support job and never missed rent.

The EA's only doing introductory service so no ongoing earnings for him.

Any comments or advice?

btw Hi, 1st post! ^_^

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I viewed a nice 2 bed flat in Bristol yesterday £475/mo which I'd like to go for but the EA wants £300 up front in fees :blink:

That's all fees, no part of that is a holding deposit or anything returnable. (Actual deposit is the usual 1 month+ 1st month up front).

I protested at this asking him to break it down and justify it which he wouldn't beyond vaguely rattling off the normal list of expenses which most EA's charge a lot less for, and refused to back down on the price. He did say he'd take off VAT :huh:

When I stressed my risk of losing that money only to have to risk it again on the next EA he eventually said something to the effect of 'oh don't worry i'll handle it, if it does go wrong I'll make sure you get your £300 back. I might lose a bit on my expenses but i'll look after you'.

He is all but transparently admitting that this money is profit in his pocket and that's the deal like it or lump it.

Now this guy is the owner of the firm (mucking in during hard times, one branch closed etc) so I guess he has the sayso to return the money if I don't meet their standards, but that doesn't stop me feeling anxious.

It's a decent place at a reasonable rent, with apparently good landlords - rich family trust, owned outright, all their contacts laid out neatly in a folder in the kitchen.

I've been renting a similar place for 3 years but for £100 more and endless problems with maintenance, rats and absentee LL so I want out.

My credit rating is diabolical, but for 3 years I have had a solid IT support job and never missed rent.

The EA's only doing introductory service so no ongoing earnings for him.

Any comments or advice?

btw Hi, 1st post! ^_^

If you don't like it, don't give them a penny until the contract is signed. EAs will be be scrabbling for income wherever they can right now & squeezing the rental business is about all they can do to generate profits.

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Get a copy of the contract you wil be expected to sign and contact the LL directly to make sure he has authorised the agent to let the property out. Negotiate direct with LL to see if he/she will get the agent to reduce the fee.

Do not hand over any money whatsoever unless you have a copy of the contract you wil be expected to sign and you are happy with it. Hand over only £50 to cover the credit check and then only hand over the rest once the contract has been signed.

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The other guys offer good advice. I'm afraid there's not much you can do, since the LL chose to use this EA. The EA is getting a cut from you and probably 8-15% of the annual rent off the LL, which is why the lettings side is the only business supporting quite a few EAs at the moment.

This is the price we pay for an imperfect advertising market and other demands on people's time. The LL has probably tried Gumtree or local small ads in the past and found that the EA's service is more reliable and gets him a better class of tenant, as well as handling all the viewings, the credit checks, and so on.

I'm a landlord (boo, hiss!) and in my experience you get rubbish EAs but also some good ones, who do the job propeprly and are probably worth what they get paid. I know this won't be a popular view on this website as the general consensus is that buying houses to let is inherently evil, but there you go.

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The other guys offer good advice. I'm afraid there's not much you can do, since the LL chose to use this EA. The EA is getting a cut from you and probably 8-15% of the annual rent off the LL, which is why the lettings side is the only business supporting quite a few EAs at the moment.

This is the price we pay for an imperfect advertising market and other demands on people's time. The LL has probably tried Gumtree or local small ads in the past and found that the EA's service is more reliable and gets him a better class of tenant, as well as handling all the viewings, the credit checks, and so on.

I'm a landlord (boo, hiss!) and in my experience you get rubbish EAs but also some good ones, who do the job propeprly and are probably worth what they get paid. I know this won't be a popular view on this website as the general consensus is that buying houses to let is inherently evil, but there you go.

I agree with what you are sayng. I do not take the common view that buying property and renting it out is evil. I also think using a good letting agent is a mark of a good landlord in my view.

I also tend to agree that when broken down the fees that letttng agents charge to a tenant are by and large more or less justifible. However, on a number of occassions I have had quite heated arguements with letting agents that a tenants cannot be expected to hand over a fee if they do not know what contract they are going to sign. I therefore insist on negotiating the conract in full BEFORE handing over any fee. In particular, I make sure that they put in writing anything I want doing to the proerty before I move in. Believe it or not there are quite a few letting agents who regard the fee they charge tenants as a payable before they will hand over the contract. I always walk away if they insist on that.

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  • 285 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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