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Administration fee if not an agent

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596 views 1 replies latest reply: 07 October 2015
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Tenant

Hello. My name is Roman. My friend was renting a property from an letting agency. He signed AST. But when it came to renew the tenancy the landlord changed the agency and offered new agreement. When we have a look we found out that the company and the person who is in the new agreement is not an agency and the person is not an agent. The landlord and that person is just working in the same company, the landlord is financial director, the person acting on behalf of the landlord is the manager in that company. The company has absolutely different business and is not a letting agency. I have some questions

1. Can that company charge for renewal fees?

2. Is that agreement is valid?

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Administrator

Hi Roman

I’m not a lawyer so this isn’t a legal reply. As far as I know anyone can set themselves up as a letting agent. There are professional bodies such as ARLA and the Property Ombudsman that provide professional status but I don’t think that a letting agent necessarily needs to have membership of them.

An AST should be between the landlord and the tenant – the agency isn’t a party to a tenancy agreement so they shouldn’t be mentioned in it at all. It might be worth showing it to someone at Citizens Advice or a law centre to see whether there’s an issue with the contract.

In terms of any fee, the renewal relates to the tenancy i.e. to cover the costs of renewing an existing tenancy so it doesn’t need to be the original agent who charges the fee.

Alex

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