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DD2013

Agency 'checkout Fee'

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Previous tennant of the house I now rent came round the other day to pick up some post. We kind of know each other as we grew up in the same area and so she tells me, when the letting agency finally returned her deposit by cheque recently (which was also posted out to the previous tennant before her by mistake), they'd deducted a 'checkout fee' of £60 for supposedly visiting the property in between her moving out & me moving in to 'check' the condition of rooms and that she'd left everything in working order - which she did (apart from the odd job she'd requested be looked at when she first moved in but went ignored). Yet the itinerary report that the agency gave me when I moved in matched the exact report sheet that they'd given her (the previous tennant) a couple years ago, which resulted in me having to add to the listed itinerary of faults/stains/dents etc AND take it to their office (maybe I should have charged a moving in fee eh) - in other words I don't believe they'd even been to 'check' the property or they'd have clearly noticed the addtional points I'd made on the report.

I only learned about this 'checkout fee' whilst having the conversation with the previous tennant, never once did the smiling agency owner mention it when he wished me well at the door before driving off in his sparkling new BMW. Obviously it's stated in my contract and will apply same as the previous tennant, it just makes me laugh how they continue to get away with it unquestioned - 60 quid for doing naff all. I have made the house my home so won't be going anywhere just yet, but I'll certainly be disputing this fee when the time comes. Maybe I'll invoice them eh for the jobs I've done around the house off my own back that the previous tennant had repeatedly requested be sorted but fell on deaf ears.

No wonder letting agency fees has hit the news this morning. Quicker I can afford to buy the better...then a new can of worms opens haha.

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Take a look at threads here: it's a subject that crops up from time to time.

And don't stand for it. Or in this case, you should encourage your predecessor to demand her money back. If it comes to a dispute, you're her witness with the details you just posted.

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Take a look at threads here: it's a subject that crops up from time to time.

And don't stand for it. Or in this case, you should encourage your predecessor to demand her money back. If it comes to a dispute, you're her witness with the details you just posted.

You could always build the evidence for a fraud case. Sounds like a good basis. Taking a fee for a service not done.

The Fraud Act 2006

Section 1 creates a general offence of fraud and introduces three ways of committing it set out in Sections 2, 3 and 4.

Fraud by false representation (Section 2);

Fraud by failure to disclose information when there is a legal duty to do so (Section 3); and

Fraud by abuse of position (Section 4).

In each case:

the defendant's conduct must be dishonest;

his/her intention must be to make a gain; or cause a loss or the risk of a loss to another.

No gain or loss needs actually to have been made.

The maximum sentence is 10 years' imprisonment.

Fraud by false representation (Section 2)

The defendant:

made a false representation

dishonestly

knowing that the representation was or might be untrue or misleading

with intent to make a gain for himself or another, to cause loss to another or to expose another to risk of loss.

The offence is entirely focused on the conduct of the defendant

So: Get her to get them to confirm in writing what the fee was for

Then get them to confirm what was done (including dates if possible)

Then check whether you have evidence of you being in/around on that day so you can prove falsehood, or that they stated something in writing that is proveable a lie.

tching tching jobs a good one. Decide if you want to go to the police or do a civil case for time spent and distress. If they start to sweat and offer her the 60 quid back - DONT DO IT! also, DONT ask for more money - you might stray into blackmail territory. Say you want documented (written) admission of the criminal behaviour and a promise not to do it again. You can then stick that on posters all over town :)

have fun

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They are utter twats.. Managed to get my deposit back minues £120 for checking fees (plus VAT!!!)..

I am really really pissed..

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They are utter twats.. Managed to get my deposit back minues £120 for checking fees (plus VAT!!!)..

I am really really pissed..

I wish these fees were illegal in England & Wales as they are in Scotland.

I wonder if the HMRC will actually receive the VAT charged on top of the checking fee? ;)

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They are utter twats.. Managed to get my deposit back minues £120 for checking fees (plus VAT!!!)..

I am really really pissed..

Check your contract to see if it mentions "checkout fees" and whether they can be taken from the deposit. If not you should raise a claim with the deposit scheme as this is not a suitable deduction from a deposit and hence you should win. Things get slightly more difficult when it is mentioned, but changes are that they will back down at some point.

Some recent case studies listed here. In particular the link given on that page gives clear explanation of how one of the deposit schemes deals with this type of claims. The TDS page sets out in detail how they deal with this, well worth a read: TDS Case studies

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  • 238 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% +
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      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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