Letting agent trying to charge fee when landlord pulled out

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    Letting agent trying to charge fee when landlord pulled out

    Hi there.

    I was in the process of speaking with a letting agent about letting my property. They sent me their contract and information form, but i hadn't signed this or agreed to it with them. They also found a potential tenant who was interested in moving into the house having viewed it a couple of times.

    The letting agent then conducted some references on the two tenants and sent these to me. I then met the tenants and was in process of reviewing the letting agent's contract when someone offered to buy the property.

    I informed the letting agent of this and subsequently told them to inform the prospective tenants that i was selling the property.

    The letting agent is now trying to charge me £250 in "Admin fees" claiming they were in the contract (that i didn't sign).

    I am unclear what these are for and am sure that i shouldn't have to pay them.

    Can anyone help?

    #2
    I'm sure a legal bod will comment properly soon, but as far as i can see, although you didnt sign the agency agreement, you did give them access to the property for viewing (on multiple occasions), and accept the tenants dependant on their references, therefore you have used the agency's services, so you owe them!

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by littlemisslettings View Post
      I'm sure a legal bod will comment properly soon, but as far as i can see, although you didnt sign the agency agreement, you did give them access to the property for viewing (on multiple occasions), and accept the tenants dependant on their references, therefore you have used the agency's services, so you owe them!
      Thanks for the quick response. I agree that the agent did show the people around, but i was not informed about a fee being required for the tenants and did not sign a tenancy agreement or anything to indicate that i was happy to proceed with reference checks.

      I appreciate they have done a service, but what if they charged £5000 for the reference checks (as nothing is set out for me to do this). Would i also have to pay that?

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by littlemisslettings View Post
        I'm sure a legal bod will comment properly soon, but as far as i can see, although you didnt sign the agency agreement, you did give them access to the property for viewing (on multiple occasions), and accept the tenants dependant on their references, therefore you have used the agency's services, so you owe them!
        They have found tenants, started a signup process and you are asking them not to bother? Sounds like you have wasted their time and cost them money - any tenancy application fees they charged would likely have been returned to the prospective tenants.

        Comment


          #5
          Irrespective of whether you had signed a contract or not your actions have consumed the resources of the agent. The most obvious resource being time but also other incidental costs such as fuel, phone calls, paperwork, payments to third-parties e.g credit referencing and marketing. To expect this completely gratis or at a knock-down price is unreasonable and if that is what you expected from the start you are on another planet.

          Regards

          Tom

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            #6
            agent wants refund for referencing of rejected tenants

            Hi there,

            I have instructed the agent and signed a contract with him to find me professional tenants. He then found a couple and told me thay just finished their studies and starting work. However, according to the references that he gave me they are still students. When I spoke to them they admitted that they have taken a year to work in London and then they will get back to the uni. I have declined them and the agent wants me to pay for the references (there was no credit check etc., they seem to do the basic check with Parragon). Can an agent demand a refund for referencing if a landlord turns a tenant down based on not satisfying references?

            Thanks a lot for your help

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Karino View Post
              Hi there,

              I have instructed the agent and signed a contract with him to find me professional tenants. He then found a couple and told me thay just finished their studies and starting work. However, according to the references that he gave me they are still students. When I spoke to them they admitted that they have taken a year to work in London and then they will get back to the uni. I have declined them and the agent wants me to pay for the references (there was no credit check etc., they seem to do the basic check with Parragon). Can an agent demand a refund for referencing if a landlord turns a tenant down based on not satisfying references?

              Thanks a lot for your help
              What does your contract with the agent have to say about the fees you must pay and on what grounds you can refuse a tenant?
              'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

              Comment


                #8
                the contract says:
                if, after agreeing to rent the property to the proposed persons, you decide not ot proceed with the letting agent of the same for any reason other than unsatisfactory references, you agree to pay £60 per tenant to cover admin and status enquiry cost.

                The truth is the agent did not mention that these people are students who will only rent for 12 months. He knew very well that I am looking for professionals who don't intend to leave at least from the very beginning of the tenancy. Their reasoning is that is if the referrencing company Paragon is of an opinion that they can afford the rent than I cannot say the references are unsatisfactory. These people never worked or rented before and their combined salary will be 30K gross. The rent is 880.

                Comment


                  #9
                  It is obvious that in both these cases, the agent did the job but now the landlords are trying to wriggle out of paying for the services provided.

                  I don't think these charges are unreasonable for the services provided and they should pay up.
                  Mrs Jones
                  I am not an expert - my posts are my opinion and should not be taken as fact!!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    A combined income of £30k is probably enough to support that rent. Students, for example, are often in receipt of far less than £15k each p.a. and they have to shell out up to £130 pw each, in some places. Unless you have hordes of other applicants beating a path to your door, why not give this couple an AST for 12 months only, until they return to Uni?

                    They are, strictly speaking, young professionals at present and I agree with Mrs Jones that the agent is justified in asking for payment in this case. (I don't often stick up for agents!)
                    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Mrs Jones View Post
                      It is obvious that in both these cases, the agent did the job but now the landlords are trying to wriggle out of paying for the services provided.
                      In the first case it is not obvious that there was a contract between landlord and agent. If the agents jumped the gun they are entitled to nothing.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I don't try to avoid the fee Mrs Jones, plese read with understanding. The agent want me to pay for the referencing fee that I know he will use when he finds another flat for them.

                        I just think that if I give clear instructions to the agent in regards to what tenant want they should follow it and not flog me anybody. I did clearly asked him whether they are still students and he also knew that I don't want people who will be renting for a short period only and who know this from the very beginning of the tenancy.

                        The agent also lied that they have rented before and this is not the case according to the references. I am fussy but I think I have the right to choose who I want for a tenant. If the agent told me at the begining who these people really are I would have never even considered them. I find that agents are not clear on purpose and they also rush people so there is no time for consideration.

                        I have spoken to the solicitor and he assured me that because there is nothing in writing confirming that I accepted the tenants (as I did not) his claim is illigitimate.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I'm a bit confused here - in Yorkshire it is common for the agent to ask the prospective tenant pay a fee for the cost of checking references. Are agents getting paid twice or does this practice vary around the country?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            down here in Somerset we charge an admin fee, covers credit checks etc and also T contribution towards prep of TA etc.

                            seems quite normal to me!

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