CAMPAIGN TO 10 DOWNING STREET – Renting! | The Tenants' Voice
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522 views 1 replies latest reply: 22 June 2016

THIS IS A REPLY to my previous posting, as I cannot post a REPLY through the normal channels, when hitting submit I end up with a blank page, so aplogies Kristjan.

Hello Kristjan,

Thank you for your reply, any input is good to receive, however you are wrong in what you say about 12 month tenancy agreements. I am NOT some irate tenant who wants to spout off against lanlords or agents for the sake of it. Anything I write or put forward is NOT based on just personal experience, as that would be too limiting to form a basis for my campaign. I have spent time doing research and know a ” Assured shorthold tenancy” can run upto 36 months even with a buy to let. One does have to have been in the property first for 12 months though. 12 month lets are favored generally as it allows for more leeway on raising rents at the end of the 12 month term and for agents to make additional money through tenants by charging fees for something that 99% of the time is just a repeat of the previous agreement, and printed out for re-signing. Unless a tenants contract ( AST) is being changed substantial fees should not be charged. If you look acrosss the country fees for such administration costs vary enormously, when AST agreements are fairly standard across the board. Yes, of course there may be some additional areas that are slightly different, but all in all, AST contracts are standard with their lawas to protect both landlord and tenant. FEES should also be standard, and not £25 the lowest I’ve seen to those of £200 at the other end. 

With regards to renting for 36 months at a time, you can of course check the Buy to Let mortgage information which is open to anyone to read and further information given on the website on tenancy agreements. 

As for the remarks that MY PERSONAL fee to the agents of £150 for renewing the tenancy when it does come up, made me smile, as you seem to be suggesting that is a small price to pay as the landlord will be paying a lot more, well that is quite irrelevant with all due respect – The landlord chooses the agents, the lanlord is the client not the tenant. The agent is handling the letting for the CLIENT the landlord, they are working on behalf of the landlord. It is the landlord that should be charged the renewal fee for being able to keep tenants in their property, not having it empty, not having to re-advertise it and thus ultimately lose their profit margins. 

My personal circumstances, is that my landlord is NOT using an agent to check over the property every three months as most agents do to ensure the tenants are looking after the landlords property. No I have a private landlord who I have an extremely friendly and amicable relationship after being in their property for nearly 14 years. I have no checks on the property as I keep it in immaculate order which is why they do not have an agent looking over me. However, they are using an agent ( In fact their daughters own letting company) just to draw up the tenancy agreement that is a roll on, no changes in 13 years 6 months for which I’m now going to be charged £150 for when renewed. That is not right, I have never approached this letting company, not met any of them, they don’t carry out any maintenence on the property as the landlord and myself do this as and when needed, so why should I be paying £150 for something that has not changed and where my letting is privately arranged.

I am well aware of deposit schemes, and have no worry about my deposit whatsoever. My concerns are over the the huge differences across the country of agent fees, the rental market as a whole which is out of control, has no real regulation in place to keep rents within a reachable goal for those on an average salary. And there are plenty of those who want a home, not some place to make profits for landlords to go off and buy another buy to let. I have done recent research on some of the lower rents across London anything from £700-£1100 per month that would amount to at least 50% of someone’s salary on 18-20K and it’s people in this sector of our society that needs protecting. As for some of the decoration and furnishing in these properties is beyond belief, talk about basic, it’s appaling, you can tell they are just set up to make money and not provide a home for any extended periods. Renting in the UK must change and so must agents approach to making some additional money out of tenants that are already struggling to keep a roof over their head where they face constant upheaval to move on if they can’t pay the rent increases every 12 months!

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£150 to renew a fixed tenency is basically theft. I can download an existing PDF, add a few details (i.e. just change the date) , print it and sign it in 10 minutes. Maybe you can offer to do it for them! We are with a private landlord and switching over to a property with a Letting Agent and they have the same fee in their ‘fees schedule’ so I won’t have to deal with this for another 12 months, but I will be flat out refusing to pay this fee. You can choose not to do another agreement and by law your tenancy just defaults to month to month periodic. You just keep paying the rent and all that changes is that you no longer have a fixed period, so you caould also do that. If the landlord want to raise the rent, let them pay for the doco. If your Letting Agency insists they need to charge a fee to pay for a periodic tenancy, tell them you are not interested nor obliged to pay. I’l love to hear some feedback from a Letting Agency as how they can justify £150 for a new tenancy agreement, as a fee that high does not reflect the cost of providing the ‘service’.

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