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Has this been reported on HPC?

http://www.telegraph...tting-fees.html

Estate agent hires private security as campaigners protest against letting fees

Estate agents have never been popular, but one branch has had to go to the lengths of hiring security guards to keep out protesters.

By Josie Ensor

12:52PM BST 30 Apr 2013

Protesters-and-sec_2550247b.jpg

Foxtons in Brixton, south London, had two private security staff on the door at the weekend as dozens gathered outside to protest against high rents and letting agents' fees.

The demonstration was part of a wider campaign, which demands lower rents, proper regulation of letting agents and longer and more secure tenancies.

Protesters outside the branch were calling for agents in England to follow Scotland's lead in making letting agents' fees to tenants illegal.

However, when campaigners, who also protested outside Haart and Eden Harper, asked to speak to a member of Foxtons' staff, they were told that no one from the lettings team was available.

The Local Government Association (LGA) warned earlier this year that hidden charges imposed by letting agents are exacerbating the housing crisis.

According to a report issued by The Office of Fair Trading (OFT), nearly 4,000 tenants and landlords have raised concerns around poor service and costs levied by housing agencies. This includes non-refundable admin fees which are in excess of £500,000.

Town halls claim that high letting fees in some areas are acting as a barrier to people trying to find a home. Some local authorities have set up their own letting agencies to ensure tenants get a fair deal.

Campaigner Daniel Oldfield told Brixton Blog: "Despite the dismal state of our economy and the relentless cuts, rents keep rocketing up and letting agents are making things worse. They often actively advise landlords to put up rents and charge all kinds of fees, most of which have only emerged in the last few years in the so called 'competitive' marketplace.

"Short-term tenancies suit them because then people have to keep moving paying fees to renew them. This lack of security especially hurts families because children who move around a lot are more likely to struggle at school. Perhaps worst of all, hardly any privately rented rooms are available to young people on benefits, directly making more people homeless."

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LettingAgentToday (sister site of EAToday) covering this as well.

Disclaimer - I'm not responsible for any increases in blood pressure that may stem from reading the comments at the bottom of this link:

http://www.lettingagenttoday.co.uk/news_features/Demonstrators-target-letting-agents-in-angry-demonstrations

(there's a video of the protesters too)

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If rent is the symptom, cheap money/a lack of austerity, unlimited immigration and zero building are the causes. I doubt the trendies would like to tackle those causes however.

Funny, I was chatting to an East European guy on Sunday and he reckoned that housing benefit, or whatever it is called currently, is need to make this country attractive to immigrants.

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We've been in the same place for five years (I think) but have been looking around recently.

We're looking at rural places, currently rent through Savills, and I thought Hampton's might have something of interest.

I found somewhere on Rightmove and arranged to view the place. As it turned out, it's too near a road, so we turned it down.

However it was only at the viewing that I was given a copy of the full particulars including their Ts and Cs and the "fees".

Laugh, I nearly died.

The agencies - in a fight for landlords' business - have basically said to the landlord - "you know all those costs you incur, like credit checking your tenants, and preparing an inventory and a contract? Let through us, and we'll get the tenant to pay them, you can't lose".

I haven't said a word. We're still registered with them and they're offering a nice looking place in Selborne, although the broadband there is non existent so we'll skip that one.

Frankly, from what I can see, it looks as though landlords have tried to impose a wave of rent increases over the last six months but without much success - so many are "reduced", so many have an indoor photo as the primary one to hide the fact that the property has been on the market for ages.

Indeed in our rent negotiation with Savills on our current place (which is not subject to a mortgage), one of the things I argued was that we're "stable" and over the course of the next year, tenant defaults and late payments are going to go through the roof. On the basis of that and other factors we got them down from 8.3% to 2% (reviewed every two years).

If Hampton's do find us a nice place, then we'll make an offer, at which point the fees will probably be mentioned. I'll simply laugh at them and suggest that we pay our own costs, including credit checking the landlord, and the landlord pays their own costs. So I won't be sending them a bill for our moving costs, for instance.

From what I can see the rental market is simply not bouyant enough for them to say no, but if they do, they can find some other prospective tenants.

In the words of the Grange Hill song, "just say no".

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We've been in the same place for five years (I think) but have been looking around recently.

We're looking at rural places, currently rent through Savills, and I thought Hampton's might have something of interest.

I found somewhere on Rightmove and arranged to view the place. As it turned out, it's too near a road, so we turned it down.

However it was only at the viewing that I was given a copy of the full particulars including their Ts and Cs and the "fees".

Laugh, I nearly died.

The agencies - in a fight for landlords' business - have basically said to the landlord - "you know all those costs you incur, like credit checking your tenants, and preparing an inventory and a contract? Let through us, and we'll get the tenant to pay them, you can't lose".

I haven't said a word. We're still registered with them and they're offering a nice looking place in Selborne, although the broadband there is non existent so we'll skip that one.

Frankly, from what I can see, it looks as though landlords have tried to impose a wave of rent increases over the last six months but without much success - so many are "reduced", so many have an indoor photo as the primary one to hide the fact that the property has been on the market for ages.

Indeed in our rent negotiation with Savills on our current place (which is not subject to a mortgage), one of the things I argued was that we're "stable" and over the course of the next year, tenant defaults and late payments are going to go through the roof. On the basis of that and other factors we got them down from 8.3% to 2% (reviewed every two years).

If Hampton's do find us a nice place, then we'll make an offer, at which point the fees will probably be mentioned. I'll simply laugh at them and suggest that we pay our own costs, including credit checking the landlord, and the landlord pays their own costs. So I won't be sending them a bill for our moving costs, for instance.

From what I can see the rental market is simply not bouyant enough for them to say no, but if they do, they can find some other prospective tenants.

In the words of the Grange Hill song, "just say no".

interesting.

however, this depends on where you are though. Don't think you will get away with that in central london, prime oxford and

prime berkshire.

I suppose supply and demand rule in the end.

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I don't think the protesters quite get it though.

untitled.PNG

The more HB the higher the rents will be, and the more trapped the renters will be. People working trying to save for a home who don't qualify for housing benefit have to compete with those who pop out sproggs at 18 and don't work. HB places a high floor on home prices.

Edited by out2lunch

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interesting.

however, this depends on where you are though. Don't think you will get away with that in central london, prime oxford and

prime berkshire.

I suppose supply and demand rule in the end.

So who creates the demand......the people who can pay the price. ;)

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interesting.

however, this depends on where you are though. Don't think you will get away with that in central london, prime oxford and

prime berkshire.

I suppose supply and demand rule in the end.

I wonder if there's an aspect of people moving closer to work/facilities to cut down on commuting costs (away from rural) - and, some rural properties are quite expensive (heating in particular) so people are looking to save money... I'd like to cut our costs, but we would like an extra bedroom and I can work from home.

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However it was only at the viewing that I was given a copy of the full particulars including their Ts and Cs and the "fees".

Laugh, I nearly died.

EAs not making enough from selling houses?

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EAs not making enough from selling houses?

Was only a few years ago when the majority of estate agents had nothing to do with lettings, sales only......how things have changed, if it weren't for the letting side of it many would have gone out of business long ago. ;)

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Example of the fees I copied off a lettings website, for you long time home owners that haven't rented in decades:

For a 3 bed flat £900pcm

Information about fees and deposits relating to this property:

Agency Admin Fee:

£125 for first person, £75 for each additional person.

£25 extra per person if Guarantor is required.

Guarantor Req:

For Students.

Check In Fee:

Not known at this time.

Check Out Fee:

Not known at this time.

Tenancy Renewal Fee:

Not known at this time.

Deposit:

£1000.

Deposit Protect Fee:

Not known at this time.

No VAT is charged on Fees.

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I've recently paid.

£75 for reference fees (£35 per person)

£20 deposit registration

£150 admin fees.

I would have loved to stick up two fingers but the house was so close to kids school I didn't want to lose out.

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However it was only at the viewing that I was given a copy of the full particulars including their Ts and Cs and the "fees".

Laugh, I nearly died.

If you think that's bad, then whatever you do don't go ANYWHERE NEAR Sh!thead Property MisManagement (I assume you know who I mean.)

We rented through them for three years, and they are the most unpleasant, arrogant, hubristic bunch of total sh!ts you could ever imagine coming across. Treated us like dirt; tried to stitch us up left right and centre with additional fees every year (we just refused to pay them,) and then colluded with the landlord in ripping us off royally (AKA "helping himself to our deposit like it was some sort of sweetie jar he was entitled to,) including trying to charge us hundreds and hundreds of pounds for some minor damage, when the maximum chargeable under the contract was his insurance excess.

Not once did they explain to him what was in the contract, and it ended up going to the arbitration service where (surprise surprise) they found exactly half-way and we lost a load of money. And they just stood back and - on one occasion - laughed at my wife when they had wifully reduced her to tears by their rudeness. It was abundantly clear the landlord was their sole interest, and as individuals we were nothing more than a minor irritation in their tried and tested process of emptying our bank account into theirs, as fast as possible.

Every time I pass their office I'm tempted to go in and crap on one of the desks - but then I'd be lowering myself to their level, and no doubt TPTB would bang me up for it regardless of the endless provocation.

Ba$tard$. Utter Ba$tard$

B

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I don't think the protesters quite get it though.

untitled.PNG

The more HB the higher the rents will be, and the more trapped the renters will be. People working trying to save for a home who don't qualify for housing benefit have to compete with those who pop out sproggs at 18 and don't work. HB places a high floor on home prices.

+1.

The 'leftie liberal' in me sympathise with the protesters about the high rents in the first place. However, the 'conservative' in me, trying to do the right thing and save up for a deposit to eventually buy a home, would rather HB had never existed to ensure a level playing field amongst all tenants.

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<snip>

I haven't said a word. We're still registered with them and they're offering a nice looking place in Selborne, although the broadband there is non existent so we'll skip that one.

<snip>

Out of interest, I had a quick rightmove scan of rental places in Selborne. I am astonished at what an expensive place it appears to be to rent there. I'll admit they seem to be tidy inside, but £2K pcm for a 3 bed cottage? What am I missing with regards to living there?

It appears to be 4 miles from Alton station, which is over an hour into London, so why the outrageous price? My assumption is the current owners are in the "can't sell it for what it is worth (;)) , so I'll rent it out" brigade.

Edit: SP

Edit 2:

Ah, I was right :). £800K, and it doesn't even come with the 4 acres.

Looks like it could be Heather Cottage. They still want a bit of "profit" it would seem.

Edited by the.ciscokid

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Out of interest, I had a quick rightmove scan of rental places in Selborne. I am astonished at what an expensive place it appears to be to rent there. I'll admit they seem to be tidy inside, but £2K pcm for a 3 bed cottage? What am I missing with regards to living there?

It appears to be 4 miles from Alton station, which is over an hour into London, so why the outrageous price? My assumption is the current owners are in the "can't sell it for what it is worth (;)) , so I'll rent it out" brigade.

Edit: SP

Edit 2:

Ah, I was right :). £800K, and it doesn't even come with the 4 acres.

Looks like it could be Heather Cottage. They still want a bit of "profit" it would seem.

Selborne has a fair bit of history; the naturalist Gilbert White lived there. It's just round the corner from where Jane Austen lived. And it's quite pretty.

On the other hand it has a road with a 20 limit where most of the cars do 40 going right through the middle of it, and that's the road that was too near the house we looked at - we have two cats, and the road noise was audible through the walls, would drive me mad. It also only has ADSL broadband "up to 8Meg" and no 3G so we'd have to make do with the phone line broadband which would be tortuously slow.

I did make it expressly clear that I wasn't looking to "rent a house where the owners can't sell for the price they want and have decided to chase the market down for another year" and always want to know the reason why it's being let out.

But yes, it does seem rather expensive from what we've looked at, I'd rather pay £1250/mo for a cottage in Selborne than a 4 bed in Alton, I don't need trains and so would prefer to be further away from them, but then I'd rather pay £1050/mo for a nice cottage somewhere equally nice and save the difference which is possible.

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  • 241 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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