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sammersmith

Cvv Required For La Renewal Fee

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Hi,

I've been reading this forum for a while but this is my first post - any advice would be really appreciated.

My tenancy renewal is due and the LA wants £90 as a renewal fee. I'm not happy about the renewal fee or the rise in rent but the LA threatened me with re-marketing the flat at a much higher rent if i continued on a periodic tenancy. This may have been an empty threat but i knew that if they went ahead with their threat it would end up costing me more to move to a new place.

Received my new contract and the payment demand for the renewal fee asks for my card CVV value to be written on the form and posted back. I'm not comfortable with writing this number down and sending it to a letting agent. I know that we have to use this number for online transactions where the card is not present but there are layers of security on amazon etc. and don't think they can store the CVV anyway. I also trust most online retailers much more than my LA.

Writing it on the tenancy renewal and sending to the LA (that would either end up in their filling cabinet, database, or a dustbin) seems weird and i can imagine my bank arguing that i was careless with the number if the card number was used for fraud.

Is this standard practice?

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I think it would need to be keyed in for a cardholder not present transaction to go through.

If you did the payment over the phone you'd have to give them it and they could just write it down then

and store it too couldn't they. You could write on the form "this transaction only is authorised and future

use of these details without my authority will be report to the police as fraud" and photo it on your

phone...

Only alternative is to send a cheque or go the LA and pay by card in person or in cash.

Does the original agreement say they can charge a renewal fee? I would send a copy of the letter to your

MP to show how tenants are being screwed.

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Hi thanks for your advice. Yes unfortunately the original contract does say that i have to pay a renewal fee (along with a clause for just about everything else). Though the original fee was quoted at £75 but that it can change and i would be notified. I believe they took the new tenancy as notification of the new price as i've received no other information that mentioned a renewal fee increase.

I'll call them tomorrow to see if they'll take a cheque or else will go down there at the weekend. I do feel like i'm being screwed - not only by the fee but also because of the threat of being kicked out when i asked to continue on a periodic tenancy. The LA said the renewal was actually good for me because it gives me security. I said that the only security it gives me is the certainty that i will be hit with another rent rise and renewal fee next November - though she didn't seem to understand this.

I have photocopied all the docs now and am seriously considering sending over to my MP - though i fear that these LAs are typical of all in my area :(

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I would contact the landlord and tell them what the agency are doing, and that you are looking again at properties with other agents on the internet because you don't like being blackmailed. Tell the landlord how much they are charging and that they are threatening you with ending the tenancy.

I suspect the landlord won't know about it and will not want the agent spooking a good tenant, and will also be outraged at the cost since they too are probably receiving spurious bills from these leeches.

A call from the landlord to the agent might end this quickly once you have told them what the agent are up to.

If the landlord sounds sympathetic it might also be an opportunity to suggest cutting out the agent from your relationship and renting direct. The landlord would get an increase then that you wouldn't feel, as it would be the amount the agent is taking.

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Do you want a new contract or would you be happy with a periodic tenancy (the landlord would have to give you 2 months notice).

The agents will want to sell you a new contract because its an easy £90 for just posting a couple of standard letters. It's pointless trying to argue this with them, they have nothing to gain and everything to lose if you go periodic.

However you can avoid signing a contract by just being really tardy with everything.

Don't return any of the right paperwork at all.

If they ask you to meet them at the office then don't turn up, if they phone you, just claim 'you did turn up but the office was locked'

That should waste 2 or 3 weeks of their time by which time your landlord will have signed and paid for his side of the contract at which point you are home free.

It is kind of dishonest saying you will sign the contract and then not bothering to do it, but it seems to be the only accepted route.

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Hi yes i've actually been putting the LAs off for quite a while and now they've started to get really shirty and sending emails with parts in bold saying that they will re-market if i do not act immediately. I'd like to stay on a periodic as i see no personal gain to sign another contract but they said this is not what the landlord wants - i think this is actually more what the LAs do not want.

I would prefer to deal direct with the landlord. Unfortunately my landlord now lives in Dubai and the flat is managed directly by the LA - who i pay my rent to. This seems to be quite common in my area and i think (though not sure) that this means the agent needs the LA to act as a UK address and probably doesn't want to handle check-outs / check-ins when tenants leave. This was the impression i got when i first took the place on anyway.

I quite like the flat and looked around for something similar recently but everything else looked terrible and over-priced. The agents argument for the increase was because of the 'strong market conditions' in my area and that they were aiming to market the flat for £150 extra per month if i left, and that my increase was less than this as a reflection on me as a good tenant. I really don't like this cliche or the way they made it seem like they are doing me a favour but it does seem like flats around here (w. london) do rent out so quickly and for crazy prices. I also applied for an intermediate rental property that was on for £80 per month less than my current flat but when i phoned to ask about my application they said they had over 100 applications for 2 flats!

It feels like i've exhausted my options with the LA unfortunately and will have to accept the increase and fee, but I'd rather not hand over the CVV as i feel i cannot trust them with this.

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In that situation if it were not possible to contact the landlord directly and if even with the proposed increase plus the fee you are still getting a reasonable deal compared to what you could move to, and you plan to stay for 6 months anyway, you may as well take it.

I wouldn't give them your full card details either. The manner of payment ought not to be an issue for them, a bank transfer via internet or telephone banking should do the job?

Being treated like cr4p in an oversubscribed renting environment is just another reason not to live in london!

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In this sort of situation it can be a bit of a game of poker and bluff can be answered with counter bluff, though the game may be a bit more risky when dealing with an agent who puts his own interest above that of the landlord.

As for paying renewal fees where the agreement provides for it there is no need to. If an agreement says you pay for a renewal and you renew after that agreement expires then the new agreement replaces the old one which falls by the wayside and with it the requirement to pay for a renewal. Any equivalent provision in the new agreement clearly does not apply to that agreement. In practice therefore you only need pay if you agree to separately.

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