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Unjustified charges from landlord?

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254 views 2 replies latest reply: 09 March 2016
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Tenant

Long story short, our rented house wasn’t in a very clean state (mainly the bathroom) when our flat was visited. We were asked to clean it twice which we didn’t, then the landlord threatened our guarantors with a £500 cost to clean the house with cleaners they provided. We have since cleaned the flat but are now faced with further charges as follows:

£125 + VAT for additional administration in dealing with these matters (involving sending out 16 letters and emails) 

£75+ VAT (this includes congestion and a parking charge)

We believe the charges are excessive. Printing and sending letters can’t cost more than £10, and it can’t have taken more than 1-2 hours to do all this incluidng chasing us up, meaning they are making near £60 an hour. (i feel most of the cost is due to inconveniences and us maybe annoying theM)

Also can VAT even be charged on congestion and parking costs? (even if they have to pay for the congestion and parking charge orginally)

Any advice would be appreciated.

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Tenant

Oh how i hate estate / letting agents and their charges! All the stuff they did in your case, surely that is what they are paid for in the first place??? arggghhhhh! Anyway rant over.

 

 

 

Doesn’t sound like you would win tenant of the year award, so to be fair to them, i understand them placing a charge on you as they had to chase you up a few times for not adhering to the terms of your tenancy (i assume that you broke some clause otherwise they wouldn’t have taken this all so seriously?  correct me if I’m wrong! although ‘cleaning’ is not something i have ever heard some one being for chased by a landlord UNLESS they are moving out). 

 

 

That said, I agree the charges are hefty……Are they unreasonable?  i dont know. They may well be able to justify them by confirming no of staff hours worked, how much they charge for each letter, how much for visits, and that these charges are advertised / customers are warned, you were made fully aware of consequences of not adhering to their request, etc, etc. 

 

 

Perhaps you should start with a letter / complaint to the agency asking for an explanation of the charges. If unhappy with the response, you may be able to take it further. This link explains what recourse may be available to you- http://www.thetenantsvoice.co.uk/advice_from_us/complaints-about-letting-agents/

 

 

I would however start paying off the charges ASAP. You don’t want to incur any more  (eg, £200 charge for failing to pay your charges, plus £150 for a letter sent to you to remind you that your charges are late, plus £95 for an email which took 30 seconds to write……….and so on!!!)

 

 

Hope this is of some assistance 

 

 

good luck 🙂

 

 

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Tenant

Quotes from tenancy:

 

-That in the case of a breach of the terms of the tenancy by the Tenant, a reasonable administration charge may be

made in addition to the costs of any remedial work, in order to compensate the Landlord or his Agent for his reasonable

 

expenses

-To pay for any reasonable costs or damage suffered by the Landlord or his Agent as a consequence of any breach of

the agreements on the part of the Tenant in this Agreement

 

possible breach:

-To keep the interior of the Property and the Contents in at least as good and clean condition and repair as they were

at the commencement of the tenancy, with fair wear and tear excepted, and to keep the Property reasonably aired and

 

warmed

 

DOesn’t actually specifiy that it hasto be kept clean at all times throughtout the tenancy though i think its implied. Do you think we can only try to get the charges reduced – arguing that they are unreasonable as opposed to getting them dropped?

 

Also, i forgot to mention that the £75 they are charging is for an inspection of our flat that has yet to happen, to check whether it is indeed clean. However, we have sent pictures demonstrating the cleanliness of our flat and have argued that an inspection is not necessary and that if they wish to proceed with it that they should pay for it.

 

Thanks for your response.

 

T

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