Cookies must be enabled for this site to function properly

Topics / Landlords and letting agents 

start a new discussion

LETTING AGENT FEES

0 helpful votes
This is the number of people who have indicated that they have found this discussion useful.
157 views 7 replies latest reply: 07 October 2016
Photo
Tenant

Hello,

I have posted before on this subject but really want to clarify that although I privately rent my property I have NOT approached the letting agent of my property who want to charge me £150 for renewing my tennacy agreement in April 2017. I have been in my current property in 2017 for 14 years. My current landlord who is charming by the way has decided to put the property with a letting agent of his choice, mainly I believe because his partner’s daughter has a senior position at this agency. 

I did not choose to change agents, as I would never choose an agent that charged £150 to renew a digital agreement. This letting agent actually takes no responsibility for the property whatsoever. All dealings are directly with the landlord at their home address. So this letting agent has not been to the property for my rental, not ever checked over the property (home checks) in fact not ever done anything aprt from send me digital (docudesk) agreement for me to sign in 2014. So why am I expected to pay this £150, which I’m going to refuse to do, but then of course there will be a backlash of unpleasant feeling, but I just feel so agrieved by it. 

  1. I’m waiting to have damp resolved in my bedroom and living room since 2011. The property has no ventilation bathroom and kitchen, no CH which the company that looked in to this advised CH and to have vents put in to remove moisture from the air. It was supposed to be done during 2014 when I signed the new agreement – still waiting with anothr winter coming up walls are already getting wet and black.
  2. New carpets where agreed back in 2013 as they are extremely worn, no new carpets as yet. I have always looked after the property as if it’s my own. This year, three leaks, one in the loft from the overflow pipe to the outside, one in the toilet cistern, and one from the sink pipe to the outside of the property, all of which I’ve dealt with without worrying the landlord. He is aware of this.
  3. Lastly, I have had regular rent increases over the last 5 years, this last tenancy agreement has been the only one for 2 years, but all previous 12 months, one year it was as much as £25 per month increase, which I feel is extortianate. The property is owned by the landlord outright, no mortgage. 

The rental market in the UK needs to change considerably. As far as I’m concerned letting agents work for landlords, not tenants, especially if a tennant has not even approached them for services. 

Photo
Tenant

Hello Suzanne, 

Have you talked with your landlord about your problems with the letting agent and the lack of repairs to the property ? 

I take it you’re in good talking term with him and it feels strange that he hasn’t leashed his letting or managing agent. The agent is essentially his employee, so he has full control of the situation.

 

Photo
Tenant

Hi Audrey, thanks for your reply. It was actually the landlord who told me I would be repsonsible for the tenancy fee when it comes up in April 2017. I was shocked at the time, but having been in my home for some 12 years then and the change of landlords. Remaining in the same family after the father died, I didn’t want to rock the boat. 

Perhaps I’ve not made this very clear, but the agents have NOTHING to do with me or the property at all, they have never been here, made any kind of inventory of the property, although I own everything in it. My landlord handles everything personally. I don’t contact the agents at all over anything.  

As for the repairs, these have been ongoing for many years. The new landlord is well aware and has visited the property where it was discussed to have CH put in to prevent further problems with the damp – it was due to be installed by this Autumn, but at 8K, he was put off somewhat I think. Just to clarify again, I live in a very small village and can’t have gas, so having either electric CH or underground tanks fitted for calor gas is expensive.

I’m fairly assertive and no stranger to speaking up for myself, and I would say quite informed so I’m in a position now where I want to see what he’ll do about the damp this year, and the other updates, new bathroom, new kitchen, new carpets, new conservatory as the current one is falling down before HE suggests a rent rise in 2017.

I have over twenty emails going back and forth with photos of the damp dated etc as proof of me requesting the probelm to be resolved with replies saying it will be dealt with. I will be refusing the agents fee as they do NOT provide any services to me. All this will eventually serve it’s purpose in demonstrating that I am well within my rights not to pay the fee or an increase in rent.

Photo
Tenant

Well, you certainly have the option to not pay any fees, but it may result in a serious dispute with your landlord and possibly even eviction. 

You seem to know what you’re doing, so I feel hopeful for you, but keep in mind, the landlord is free to end the tenancy at the end of your current fixed term, or with two months of notice.

Photo
Tenant

Audrey,

I do appreciate your comments and posting, but you still seem to be missing ONE main argument here. The letting agents have NOTHING to do with me, they have done absolutley nothing whatsoever. I have not been to them, they have not met with me, been to the property or have any responsibility for the property. There name is NOT even on my tenancy, it’s the family who I’ve rented from for 14 years, this is why I’m objecting paying £150 to an agent that is basically only providing a link to docudesk to sign an agreement two years ago -s ince then ZILCH to do with them, And as I explained the only reason this agent ( who by the way is not approved on here, listed but not approved) is because their daughter works there.

I’m completely au fait with AST etc, but after 14 years the family would look pretty unreasonable for attempting to evict someone for not wanting to pay £150 for something they do NOT receive any services from. And I’m sure this is ilegal. I’m afraid a digital document from people I’ve never seen, know or have visited their office warrants £150. 

Photo
Tenant

You may turn to the Office of Fair Trading – they deal with illegal clauses in consumer contracts (ASTs as well), maybe they can help you get legal protection for these fees. 
I’m not saying that you should pay them, of course.
Okay, the OFT has apparently closed doors – https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/office-of-fair-trading
In such case, contact Citizen Advice – citizensadvice.org.uk They will help.
P.S. Keep in touch about how you resolved this, we might want to feature you for a case study.

Photo
Tenant

Thanks once again Audrey for your time and interest. I have just gone over the agreement this morning and it is NOT between me and the agents. Nowhere in the tenancy agreement states the mentioned letting agents are acting on behalf of me. They have produced the agreement for my landlord. On the agrement it is only between me and the landord, with his personal address for all communication, repairs and maintenance. Any point of contact must not be made through the agent but direct to the landlord. As I suspected, the landlord has no idea how to word an agreemet so callled in outside source who knows how to do this – hence the document was sent to me without communicating with this agent via a link by email.

I actually had a letting agent on here before, some months ago who looked at my posting and I believe stated it was ilegal my landlord was requesting a fee tot he agent when the agent was not working for me. I won’t go to the office of fair trading merely because I feel I can handle this myself – I have actually been into a court acting on behalf of others before (and won 🙂 I hasten to add not in the rental sector, so I’m not afraid to explain my feelings nicely to the lanlord when it does arise in 2017 – If I need to become firmer and more assertive then so be it, I will!

 

Photo
Tenant

Hi Suzanne,

I’m a reporter for the Southwest Londoner – I’m currently working on a story about letting fees, which seem to be gaining in controversy. Tom Brake MP has a Reform Renting campaing, as well as a renters’ rights bill in Parliament at the moment. I was wondering if you might be able to share a few more words with me on your experience and opinions on these letting fees in general (which are banned in Scotland btw). My email is ejleahy13@gmail.com

If you send me your email could I send you over a few questions?

Best of luck,

Ed Leahy

Showing 1 - 7 of 7 Comments
start a new discussion

Post a reply