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lewissheridan

Credit Reference Check

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I currently rent a 1-bed flat, I paid a security deposit, and was required to pay a £250 check reference check fee :angry: and also required to take out home contents insurance on the flat :angry: this was described to me so that if anything needs replacing due to damage, i.e. carpets, they would use my full deposit and I would have to claim from the home contents insurance <_< Anyway, so that's just a quick intro to where i'm at.

My query is this, half way through my tenancy, my girlfriend moved in with me, now I pay the rent, the assured shorthold tennacy agreement is in my name, I pay all the bills etc etc. Now the letting agency 'Romans' are saying I need to pay an additional £250 to have her credit reference checked.

I feel that is pathetic, since the agreement is in my name etc, however i've been advised that if i were to run away, and she was left in the flat they would need to know she could afford it?? :angry: well, i don't want to pay £250 for nothing of what i think this is, just protects the landlord again at cost to me! but what happens if she fails the credit check since she's an international student!!

Do they say I have to leave ? I mean it's likely for a couple to live in a 1-bed flat, i really don't understand this at all.

If they insist further, i am tempted to pay out the whole term, then surely it makes this credit check redundant!

Can anyone advise on whether this is normal practise and the best way to proceed with this.

Thanks in advance,

Lewis

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If she is not on the AST then she does not have to be credit checked. End of discussion basically! However bear in mind that at the end of your fixed term they can evict for any reason, so basically if you are wishing to stay after your fixed term then you might want to think twice before refusing.

Just to respond to some of the other points you raised but didnt ask about. Whilst it is fairly common practice to charge the tenant for credit checks(you seem surprised), £250 is WAY WAY too much. I would be demanding to see proof of what they paid originally for your credit check. At most it should be £50. And with regards the deposit issue, they are acting very dubiously. Whether it is illegal or not I do not know, but it is not right to insist you take out such insurance, as it is none of their business. Any damages WHICH YOU HAVE CAUSED(I hope they explained this to you!) they take out of your deposit. Whether you then claim this back from insurance or not has got zippo to do with them.

Edited by MrShed

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I currently rent a 1-bed flat, I paid a security deposit, and was required to pay a £250 check reference check fee :angry: and also required to take out home contents insurance on the flat :angry: this was described to me so that if anything needs replacing due to damage, i.e. carpets, they would use my full deposit and I would have to claim from the home contents insurance <_< Anyway, so that's just a quick intro to where i'm at.

My query is this, half way through my tenancy, my girlfriend moved in with me, now I pay the rent, the assured shorthold tennacy agreement is in my name, I pay all the bills etc etc. Now the letting agency 'Romans' are saying I need to pay an additional £250 to have her credit reference checked.

I feel that is pathetic, since the agreement is in my name etc, however i've been advised that if i were to run away, and she was left in the flat they would need to know she could afford it?? :angry: well, i don't want to pay £250 for nothing of what i think this is, just protects the landlord again at cost to me! but what happens if she fails the credit check since she's an international student!!

Do they say I have to leave ? I mean it's likely for a couple to live in a 1-bed flat, i really don't understand this at all.

If they insist further, i am tempted to pay out the whole term, then surely it makes this credit check redundant!

Can anyone advise on whether this is normal practise and the best way to proceed with this.

Thanks in advance,

Lewis

I'm not absolutely sure - but I think - as there are 2 of you now living there, the lease has to be in both names - joint & several liability.

Not sure why she needs credit checkingas they have already got the full check against you - so they should be able to add her on. It could be that they need to reference check her generally (to make sure she isn't going to trash the place) _ £250 sounds very high though.

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If she is not on the AST then she does not have to be credit checked. End of discussion basically! However bear in mind that at the end of your fixed term they can evict for any reason, so basically if you are wishing to stay after your fixed term then you might want to think twice before refusing.

She isn't on the AST, however i think there is a clause about guests can't stay more than 1 whole night or something along those lines. To be honest if they ask me to leave in April when my contract ends, i think i'll jump onto the housing market, i've been renting for a few years now, and getting nowhere fast. Have a kid on the way and sick and tired of not so much lining landlords pockets, but with the whole everything favours everyone else financially with little fees here and there!

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I'm not absolutely sure - but I think - as there are 2 of you now living there, the lease has to be in both names - joint & several liability.

Not sure why she needs credit checkingas they have already got the full check against you - so they should be able to add her on. It could be that they need to reference check her generally (to make sure she isn't going to trash the place) _ £250 sounds very high though.

Not neccessarily, unless she is paying the rent direct to the landlord herself, she is not a tenant, she is a guest of the existing tenant, and so no changes to the AST are required. As she is not on the ASt, she has no responsibility for the rent, and so no need for a credit check.

She isn't on the AST, however i think there is a clause about guests can't stay more than 1 whole night or something along those lines. To be honest if they ask me to leave in April when my contract ends, i think i'll jump onto the housing market, i've been renting for a few years now, and getting nowhere fast. Have a kid on the way and sick and tired of not so much lining landlords pockets, but with the whole everything favours everyone else financially with little fees here and there!

Such a clause is an unfair term according to the OFT....so ignore it. You have quiet enjoyment of the property and so can have guests as and when you wish.

Read this thread on another forum for some info about guest situation :

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showt...35&page=1&pp=10

I would also recommend posting on there your query, they will know even better than me, and that forum is a hell of a lot busier than this one :)

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Just to respond to some of the other points you raised but didnt ask about. Whilst it is fairly common practice to charge the tenant for credit checks(you seem surprised), £250 is WAY WAY too much. I would be demanding to see proof of what they paid originally for your credit check. At most it should be £50. And with regards the deposit issue, they are acting very dubiously. Whether it is illegal or not I do not know, but it is not right to insist you take out such insurance, as it is none of their business. Any damages WHICH YOU HAVE CAUSED(I hope they explained this to you!) they take out of your deposit. Whether you then claim this back from insurance or not has got zippo to do with them.

Agree totally and those are the points i raised, i mean that's the whole purpose of the deposit, surely the insurance thing is rubbish.

And to landlady, i did query the £250, and it has to be done again for the other person, it isn't right, but this is what letting agencies do to us tennants! It's just hooks to more of my money. I'm of the disposition i rent a flat, pay a flat rate fee, maintain the flat to a reasonable standard, leave and receive my deposit back, win - win for everyone right ? but that seldom happens, i always lose 50% of my deposit, i always incurr innoculous additional fees, it's just part and parcel of renting.

I'm beginning to feel very peeved off and begining to think that for the stress and hassle, renting is a mugs game.

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Agree totally and those are the points i raised, i mean that's the whole purpose of the deposit, surely the insurance thing is rubbish.

And to landlady, i did query the £250, and it has to be done again for the other person, it isn't right, but this is what letting agencies do to us tennants! It's just hooks to more of my money. I'm of the disposition i rent a flat, pay a flat rate fee, maintain the flat to a reasonable standard, leave and receive my deposit back, win - win for everyone right ? but that seldom happens, i always lose 50% of my deposit, i always incurr innoculous additional fees, it's just part and parcel of renting.

I'm beginning to feel very peeved off and begining to think that for the stress and hassle, renting is a mugs game.

This is of course true. I would however definitely be taking the credit check fee further....the landlord MUST only charge you how much they were charged for this. They need to prove how much they were charged.

Oh just to say....although the reasoning behind it is wrong in this case, it is ALWAYS a good idea to have good contents cover :D

Edited by MrShed

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Not neccessarily, unless she is paying the rent direct to the landlord herself, she is not a tenant, she is a guest of the existing tenant, and so no changes to the AST are required. As she is not on the ASt, she has no responsibility for the rent, and so no need for a credit check.

Such a clause is an unfair term according to the OFT....so ignore it. You have quiet enjoyment of the property and so can have guests as and when you wish.

Read this thread on another forum for some info about guest situation :

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showt...35&page=1&pp=10

I would also recommend posting on there your query, they will know even better than me, and that forum is a hell of a lot busier than this one :)

Thanks for your help, I downloaded the OFT doc and had a quick scan through, i think i will read through the AST again first if anything comes of this situation. The agency do a quartly inspection of the flat, and although it's blatently obvious that we both live there, when asked, I said in no uncertain terms, "it is only me living here" ;)

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Thanks for your help, I downloaded the OFT doc and had a quick scan through, i think i will read through the AST again first if anything comes of this situation. The agency do a quartly inspection of the flat, and although it's blatently obvious that we both live there, when asked, I said in no uncertain terms, "it is only me living here" ;)

Again, I'm not sure, but you may be in breach of your tenancy agreement by having other people staying.

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Again, I'm not sure, but you may be in breach of your tenancy agreement by having other people staying.

There is absolutely no question that an AST term dictating when you can and cannot have guests staying is unfair and unenforceable. It contravenes the quiet enjoyment rule.

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These agents seem to be taking the mickey with their charges and restrictive conditions, £250 is grossly excessive. I suspect that when you read through the OFT document you will find a whole load of other blatently unfair terms in your tenancy agreement.

Can I suggest an anonymous complaint to trading standards. It probably won't help you but could help the next guy in line. Who knows, if enough people complain the agents might have to actually obey the law rather than their usual "take it or leave it" approach.

I reported my agents last week, will keep you updated on the progress.

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As good an idea as that may be Young Goat, trading standards have no power in this area. They enforce consumer law, and you are not the customer of the agent, the landlord is. Unless the landlord is a company, then trading standards have no power against landlords either. The people to report to are your local council housing office and/or the professional body they belong to(i any).

You are correct of course, it sounds like you could drive a steam roller through the terms in this AST, any good specialist solictior(such as PainSmiths) would destroy it.

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There is absolutely no question that an AST term dictating when you can and cannot have guests staying is unfair and unenforceable. It contravenes the quiet enjoyment rule.

I'm not sure what the exact situation is - but if you use that argument you could ove in 20 friends!

I thought that if you rent a place as one person and then move someone else in that was not allowed.

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I'm not sure what the exact situation is - but if you use that argument you could ove in 20 friends!

I thought that if you rent a place as one person and then move someone else in that was not allowed.

Admittedly yes....but at the same time, if you have a house party and have everyone stay, should a tenant not be allowed to do this?? It is most definitelyan unenforceable term.

When moving people in, you can do so, you have the right to do so. There is only a problem in two situations: if the new person is a subletee, or if they are a couple, split, and the person not on the AST will not leave.

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As good an idea as that may be Young Goat, trading standards have no power in this area. They enforce consumer law, and you are not the customer of the agent, the landlord is. Unless the landlord is a company, then trading standards have no power against landlords either. The people to report to are your local council housing office and/or the professional body they belong to(i any).

Not sure what the precise legal position is in terms of their powers but this does seem to be an area where the authorities are willing and able to act, the following link to the OFT website directs you to summaries of enforcement action taken.

OFT

Does anybody recognise any of the agents on the list?

Edited by Young Goat

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I find that letting agents are far worse to deal with than EA's. I bought a flat this year that was not fit to be lived in.

Somehow it had been rented for £775 pcm just before I had my offer accepted ,but I spent a few months gutting and renovation it because the tenants moved out.

Because i'd met the vendor and he'd given me the key prior to completeion (sounds crazy on both our parts but we shook on it that we wouldn't pull out) , his letting agent had a key and turned up to show a prospective tenant round.

I explained that I was buying the flat but she seemed very pee'd off that I had a key ,and that she wasn't in total control I guess. The guy asked me how much I was going to charge and before I had a chance to answer, the letting agent said £775 pcm.

It wasn't worth that much but even if it was, she put him off with with the way she was talking.

LL's get a lot of things said about them on hpc but it mainly the letting agents that cause the problems.

By the way, I renovated, completed and now rent it for £725 pcm without an agent. So i'm financially better off than the previous vendor (except he's a millionaire property developer)

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I've been reading a thread by blue rhino who has also been asked to pay £250 as an agents fee. What is going on here?

I can understand why the want to credit check lewissheridan's partner as if lewissheridan leaves or looses his job, they want to be sure his partner can pay the rent.

I would definately question the £250, this is no way justifiable, make them justify it. It may be worth going to your citizens advise place, I've never done it myself but my dad has and they called the company who were trying to rip him off.

Also, to try and settle an arguement between MrShed and London Landlady;

I believe guests are allowed, but if someone lives there they must be on the tenancy agreement. What length of stay is classed as living there, I'm not sure.

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I don't think there is any legal reason why the tenancy (AST) can't be in one name even if there is more than one person living there.

The letting scum that I am letting through initially asked for both myself and my wife to be named on the AST, and to pay for two credit checks. I told them to stuff it, and after checking my credit status (which is impeccable) decided that they didn't need to bother with the other credit check, or to have my wifes name on the AST.

Some landlords might want all names on the AST, but I don't think there is a law stating it is mandatory.

If you are paying council tax based on sole occupancy, then that might get you in a bit of bother :blink:

If I rent a flat and I want someone else living with me, then thats up to me.

If I damage the flat, I'll pay. If I don't then what I do with it is none of the LLs business.

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I don't know how many times I hear this about credit checks. It is a con. I paid for a credit check and got accepted on a property even though I was bankrupt!!!

Also I always find it hard to believe people who lose deposites. I had my house professionally cleaned. Infact it was cleaner than when I moved in. I received 100% of my deposite. You guysare just mucky buggers;)

In regards to the property. Anyone can stay at your property for as long as they like, provided you don't charge them to do so.

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okay, I received a letter today from the agency saying that on my quarterly inspection it was evident another person was living here, and apparently on the landlords advice! (what crap) i have to pay £198 + VAT which is equivalent to 9 days rent.

Having just bought an engagement ring and paid for a wedding, and xmas nearly here, i don't have that money, so they will have to wait. What do i do ? where do i stand ? i have read through the advice given, and will be reading through my tenancy agreement on monday and i think i'll pay a visit to the citizen's advice bureau. I just think things in this country are getting beyond a joke, i am forced into renting because i can't afford to buy! and yet i don't think agencies and landlords are vetted by an industry body as such.

Mr. Landlord i don't mind paying you rent for a property to live in, i do mind paying for it's upkeep and maintenance through my deposit, i do mind paying innoculous agency fees to further line their pockets to no end but protect themselves. I mean, ffs i had to take out £100 home contents insurance on the place or they wouldn't let it to me, and it's hardly buckingham palace, it's a 1-bed flat in Sandhurst surrey! that said i have an impeccable credit rating

Merry XMAS

oh just read a bbc news item about house prices growing in 06.. i actually do feel physically sick now , night all

:rolleyes::rolleyes:

Edited by lewissheridan

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What did he say the £198 was for?? Is this for the credit check? Because as we have said you do not have to pay that!

And if I was you I would edit your post and remove the name of the agency....never a good idea to post names of people/organisations on a website, it'll come and bite ya in the ass!

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"During the recent management visit it became apparent that a second person was living in the property, presumably your girlfriend as you only have on bedroom. There are ladies clothes in the property, toiletries in the bedroom and cosmetics in the bathroom. On the last visit there was a lady in the lflat making lunch and during this visit you kept referring to 'we' when mentioning a problem with water pressure.

When you originally signed the Tenancy Agreement in April you mentioned to a colleague that you would like your girlfriend to move in when she gradudated in the summer and you were advised that she would need to be referenced. I understand you then commented that you would 'just move her in and nobody will know'.

The landlord is not happy with this arrangement and has asked that your girlfriend be referenced and a new Tenancy Agreement be drawn up with your girlfriend's signature in order that she also be bound by the terms of the tenancy. There is a fee for this which is equivalent to nine days rent plas VAT: £182.52. Please confirm your girlfriend's name in order that we can get reference forms out to you to draw up a new agreement.

Should it the case that your girlfriend is not living with you then please confirm in writing. you would also need to demonstrate on subsequent management visits that you are the sole occupant.

Whilst writing could i also ask that you address the general cleanliness of the property. It was difficult to see the floor in the lounge because of the amount of possessions strewn across it. In addition there is a lime-scale building up on the taps in the bathroom and the kitchen that needs to be removed now. Should it be neccessary to ask a clearner to attend at the end of the tenancy your deposit will be used to bring the property back up to a lettable standard. "

:angry:

I like the end bit, i'm in no doubt i they will use my deposit, plus since it was a wedding dress and gown in the living room consequently some items had to be put on the floor! remember it is a small flat, if i had the room then it wouldn't of been an issue. Back to a lettable standard, therefore i'm living in a flat that is 'unlettable' , thanks, why don't they just say i live like a tramp!! Anyway, that's the dea from the horses mouth.

Mr Shed i have taken your advice :unsure:

In fairness i know this board always provides a balanced account, and as biased and p'd off i am, on each analysis i think.

1. I could pay out the rest of the term to circumnavigate paying this imo ridiculous fee

2. My girlfriend was an international student, therefore probably does not have any 'credit rating' as such.

a) if that is the case, do i get given notice to leave ?

I think I won't because i'm a good payer, then this fee hasn't actually got anyone anywhere !!

This is the bet that gets me ??? either way, it makes no odds ???

3. How does one calculate '9 days' rent as being the acceptable fee to cover their costs ?

4. Who believes that he/she consultated with the landlord, and that the landlord thought "i don't like this, charge em". If i was the landlord i would be happy my tennants pay the rent, this serves no purpose other then to line the pockets of the letting agency and give the landlord some illussion of 'more' security!! i'm sure the clothes stewn on the floor and build up of limescale were mentioned to guide their response. (landlord lives in austraila for what it's worth. hmm, i might join them).

5. Sit on my ass and say nothing, let them inspect in 3 months time, of which the tenancy will becoming to it's natural close.

6. I will consult the CAB and OFT inline with my tenancy agreement, i feel practises exercised by letting agencies are suspect and it is the british public getting ripped off again.

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I have phoned the shelter support line from the OFT unfair terms pdf. They were very helpful and agreed with me that it was a high amount to pay and it was an unnecessary fee since she is my partner, and it was not compulsory she be listed on the AST as the agency are saying. That said in my Tenancy Agreement of which i will double check i am certain they stipulate that if another occupant isn't on the AST then they need to be put on at cost. If this is the case then I will work out whether this is deemed unfair or not.

As mentioned before they made me take out a home insurance policy, their own brand one to cover accidental damages, i did protest and say the deposit surely serves that purpose, but the end result is , they will freely use the deposit to make the flat how 'they' want it and my only recourse would be claiming through the insurance policy :s

My next step is the Citizen's advice bureau with my Tenancy Aggreement.

i'm going to fight this to the bitter end, i've found out that i can refuse to pay and they won't be able to serve notice on me till the end of my agreement! and even then they can threaten legal action, court order and bailiffs. I mean i don't want it to come to this, or be this awkward, but i have to say, they only bring it upon themselves. Of course that's on the assumption it's a fair term.

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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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      • down 5% +
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      • up 5%



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