Erroneous Change Of Occupancy Fee

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    Erroneous Change Of Occupancy Fee

    Hi There,

    I am planning to move out of a shared rental property in March. {Mod - name removed} , the agency managing the property want to charge me a £300 "Change of Occupancy" administration fee as we have not reached the full term of the tenancy. I realise that the fee covers both me leaving and a new tenant entering the flat/agreement but there is not breakdown of the admin duties undertaken as part of this charge on {Mod - name removed} website. My dispute is that {Mod - name removed} did very little when I and other tenants moved in or out. It was the tenants who financed and managed finding a replacement tenant. There was no "Check In" so theoretically cant be a "Check Out" to charge for. There was no inventory that I saw or signed. There was no reference agency used for reference checks, I was simply asked to provide bank statements, passport, letters from old landlords etc that were scanned and emailed to the landlord. As far as I can see, all the administration duties that {Mod - name removed} conducted where printing off a standard contract and adding 3 tenants names, the rental and deposit amounts (which they got wrong twice!). That along with basic scanning and email correspondence between all parties involved. I do not see how this amounts to £300. I am hoping to dispute this charge and see my only option as through the Deposit Protection Scheme Dispute Resolution Service. Can I do this? Has anyone tried this before and won? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    #2
    They don't have to agree to any change of occupancy and they can charge pretty much what they like.

    Suspect it you argue they will refuse any change.
    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

    Comment


      #3
      My experience of doing these suggests that £300 is a bargain. I have lost count of the number of new occupants who don't bother to tell us they've changed their mind or existing tenants who have to be chased because they don't see the urgency in signing anything as they're already in the place. Don't get me started on the paperwork involved in ensuring the deposit remains protected as we use the DPS custodial scheme and they don't like tenant swaps. Did you really expect to get it for free?

      Comment


        #4
        I am not expecting to get it for free, just don't see £300 worth of admin duties there. Considering a renewal fee is £96 and that would be for 3 people, why is amending 1 name on a contract 3 times as much?
        I lost count of the number of times I asked to see a contract before I moved in so I could review it before hand. {Mod - name removed} only showed it to me on the day arranged to sign the tenancy and 2 days before I was hoping to moved in.
        {Mod - name removed} use MyDeposits in an insurance based scheme. I actually paid the exiting tenant my share of the deposit as {Mod - name removed} told me it was easier that way (I now see its because they wanted to avoid paperwork etc their end)

        Comment


          #5
          Your information is severely deficient,
          Of course a move out inspection can be chargedeven with no move in report.
          You accepted LA fees by proceeding with Application.
          Deposit ADR cannot be used to contest Agency fees.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Sonofahod View Post
            I am not expecting to get it for free, just don't see £300 worth of admin duties there. Considering a renewal fee is £96 and that would be for 3 people, why is amending 1 name on a contract 3 times as much?
            I lost count of the number of times I asked to see a contract before I moved in so I could review it before hand. {Mod - name removed} only showed it to me on the day arranged to sign the tenancy and 2 days before I was hoping to moved in.
            {Mod - name removed} use MyDeposits in an insurance based scheme. I actually paid the exiting tenant my share of the deposit as {Mod - name removed} told me it was easier that way (I now see its because they wanted to avoid paperwork etc their end)
            What {Mod - name removed} are doing isn't really supported by the legislation surrounding tenancies.

            As such, they are doing something they don't need to and can, essentially, charge whatever they want to help you avoid your legal responsibilities.
            If you don't agree to the fee, they can simply decline to allow you to waive the contract you have signed up to.

            Excessive charges aren't allowed under consumer legislation, but if you try and protest the level, {Mod - name removed} are more likely to decline the service you require.

            If you are part of a joint tenancy, the only way for you to end it without the landlord's consent is to serve notice once any fixed term has ended.
            That would end the tenancy for all of the occupants, not just you.

            Because {Mod - name removed} operating process is wrong and lazy, there isn't really any way of making the mechanism work fairly.
            When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
            Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

            Comment


              #7
              If it makes any difference I have received written consent from the landlady to move out.

              Comment


                #8
                It means the landlady doesn't know what they're doing either.

                If all the the tenants are renting the whole property on a joint agreement, there's only one tenant.
                You can't give notice for yourself because you're part of the (single) joint "tenant".
                The landlord can't agree something with you that separates you from the joint tenancy, without everyone agreeing the whole tenancy will end.

                Moving people in and out of a joint tenancy is very difficult to get right and messing with the deposit regulations by getting new tenants to "repay" previous tenant's deposit is an attempt to circumvent the law (which will go horribly wrong at some point.

                And apologies to the mods for continuing to name the company - my bad.
                When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                Comment


                  #9
                  Wow, I didn't realise it was so complicated renting a shared house. I have lived in shared houses for years with tenants moving in and out, had no issues at all. Admittedly I always dealt directly with the landlord with no agency involved. This is the second time I have rented through an agency and its looking like both times will prove to be difficult! Thanks all for your advice.

                  Comment

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