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Ridiculous Letting Agent Charges....

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I'm renting a nice flat through a large chain of Letting/Estate agents.

The fees we had to pay when we moved in last year were ridiculous enough. But we paid them as we liked the flat and wanted to move quickly.

Now they (letting agents) are asking us to pay £50+VAT for moving from an AST to a periodic tenancy.

Not that we have signed a new contract, they want this money just for allowing us to move from AST to periodic.

I know that legally an AST just reverts to a periodic tenancy after the initial fixed period has ended, so in effect they have provided no service whatsoever.

So far as I am concerned I have no contract with the letting agent whatsoever. I have an AST/Periodic tenancy contract directly with the landlady, and paid all my fees to the letting agents when the contract was drawn up.

So do I have any legal obligation to pay the charges?

I'm thinking that I don't have any legal obligation to pay them, as I have no contract with the letting agent so therefore they cannot possibly ask me for any money.

Has anybody else been asked for stupid fees from letting agents?

Have you paid or refused to pay such charges?

I've told them to stick their charges and that I'll have a chat with my solicitor.

They have said that they won't do anything but it might result in them withholding part of my deposit when I leave.

I don't really care too much about the money, its the principle.

I can afford to pay, but refuse to pay as they aren't doing anything for the money.

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I'm renting a nice flat through a large chain of Letting/Estate agents.

The fees we had to pay when we moved in last year were ridiculous enough. But we paid them as we liked the flat and wanted to move quickly.

Now they (letting agents) are asking us to pay £50+VAT for moving from an AST to a periodic tenancy.

Not that we have signed a new contract, they want this money just for allowing us to move from AST to periodic.

I know that legally an AST just reverts to a periodic tenancy after the initial fixed period has ended, so in effect they have provided no service whatsoever.

So far as I am concerned I have no contract with the letting agent whatsoever. I have an AST/Periodic tenancy contract directly with the landlady, and paid all my fees to the letting agents when the contract was drawn up.

So do I have any legal obligation to pay the charges?

I'm thinking that I don't have any legal obligation to pay them, as I have no contract with the letting agent so therefore they cannot possibly ask me for any money.

Has anybody else been asked for stupid fees from letting agents?

Have you paid or refused to pay such charges?

I've told them to stick their charges and that I'll have a chat with my solicitor.

They have said that they won't do anything but it might result in them withholding part of my deposit when I leave.

I don't really care too much about the money, its the principle.

I can afford to pay, but refuse to pay as they aren't doing anything for the money.

sounds abusive to me - did you agree to that at the outset - was it set out in any terms. I would have thought it would be illegal to deduct it from the deposit - the deposit is not there for that. I thought the original contract reverted to periodic automatically anyway. I'd stick it out and don't be bullied.

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sounds abusive to me - did you agree to that at the outset - was it set out in any terms. I would have thought it would be illegal to deduct it from the deposit - the deposit is not there for that. I thought the original contract reverted to periodic automatically anyway. I'd stick it out and don't be bullied.

Thanks for the reply.

I hadn't considered that it would be illegal to deduct it from the deposit, but thinking about it you're probably right.

I'm sticking with it. I've made a complaint to their head office, and I'm waiting for their response as to why I should pay, and exactly what service they have provided for the £50+VAT they want. :lol:

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Quite simply, if there is no clause in your AST stating that you have to pay this charge, then you do not have to pay it. Even if it is, they can only charge you what their reasonable costs are. Which in this case would be nada. Stick to your guns you are totally in the right.

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I'm about to move into a new house, and have paid the initial fee to the letting agent. When I asked what they were doing for me, they became completely defensive and said they do all sorts of things for the tennant, like gas and electricity certificates. I said gas certfiicates were the responsibility of the landlord and she huffed a bit a said the landlord had their own set of charges. Basically, letting agents will charge you what they think they can get away with. I don't trust them, but they have a place in this world.

They can only charge you reasonable costs, and the fact they are doing nothing will reasonably incure no charge. I would challenge them on it and ask the Citizen's Advice for help.

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They've now said that their head office will write to me to explain why I should pay.

I also asked them to explain under what contractual term I am required to pay this. So far as I am concerned I have a contract only with the landlady, not with these to55ers.

I'll post back with their reply - for comedy value mainly. I'm expecting to laugh at their reply :)

They can only charge you reasonable costs, and the fact they are doing nothing will reasonably incure no charge. I would challenge them on it and ask the Citizen's Advice for help.

Absolutely. They have done absolutely nothing.

They try and justify all sorts by calling it an Admin charge.

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They've now said that their head office will write to me to explain why I should pay.

I also asked them to explain under what contractual term I am required to pay this. So far as I am concerned I have a contract only with the landlady, not with these to55ers.

I'll post back with their reply - for comedy value mainly. I'm expecting to laugh at their reply :)

Absolutely. They have done absolutely nothing.

They try and justify all sorts by calling it an Admin charge.

IMO anything over £100 is taking the mickey.

I'd love to see someone make an offer on the property but insist that these charges be deducted from the first months rent.

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What I would probably do, if you refuse to pay it, write to them and remind them that it is illegal to take the money from the deposit and quote the section from the landlord and tenants act that says this (sorry I don't know it myself).

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I've still had no reply as of today.

I will call their lettings manager today and ask why I have had no response.

If he does not satisfy me that things are in motion to address this then I will write them a formal letter requesting a response and copy it to their head office.

I plan on letting them know that it is not legal to deduct it from the deposit.

It is also not legal for them to try to charge me money when we have no contractual agreement with each other. My only contract is between myself and the landlady.

If they keep playing games then maybe I should send them an invoice for £1000 for my administration costs of continuing my contract (I had to change my SO details, which is more than they did).... see how they respond to that :lol:

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I've still had no reply as of today.

I will call their lettings manager today and ask why I have had no response.

If he does not satisfy me that things are in motion to address this then I will write them a formal letter requesting a response and copy it to their head office.

I plan on letting them know that it is not legal to deduct it from the deposit.

It is also not legal for them to try to charge me money when we have no contractual agreement with each other. My only contract is between myself and the landlady.

If they keep playing games then maybe I should send them an invoice for £1000 for my administration costs of continuing my contract (I had to change my SO details, which is more than they did).... see how they respond to that :lol:

I'd put it all in writing if I were you. If they don't respond that will put you in good stead if it goes to small claims.

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UPDATE:

Tenant 1, Letting agent 0.

They have capitulated and called to say that they have lost the contract with them that I should have signed last year (what contract?) and that they'll waive the fee.

Of course what they really mean is: "OK, you've got us there, we were trying to screw you but you noticed".

I'll ask for it in writing, of course.

Seems to be that these charges are a kind of 'stupid tax', if you aren't brave or clever enough to stand up for yourself then you have to pay. But a couple of weeks of arguing and telling them whats what usually ends up in not having to pay.

Don't be the next one to pay the 'stupid tax' !

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  • 301 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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