Letting Agent Charging for Inventory Check Out without Displaying Fees

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    Letting Agent Charging for Inventory Check Out without Displaying Fees

    Morning all,

    I am a tenant and I have just vacated a property. I have received detail from the letting agent that they are charging £238.80 for Inventory Check Out. I was a little surprised at this and checked through my tenancy agreement and noted the below clause:

    4.3 Outgoings
    The Tenant will promptly pay:
    (c)
    the reasonable costs charges and expenses (including VAT) in connection with the checking of the Inventory at the start and end of the Tenancy Period (however it ends);

    Whilst looking online, I noticed that on 27th May 2015, a new legislation was passed that required all letting agents to ensure that their fees are transparent to both existing and potential customers. A comprehensive list of all fees, charges or penalties which are payable by the landlord or tenant before, during or after the tenancy must be prominently displayed in the letting agency. The list should be displayed where the letting agent comes face-to-face with an existing or new customer and the customer shouldn’t have to ask to see the list; it should already be clearly visible. If the agency has a website, then the list of fees should also be published here.

    I have looked at the letting agents website and it does not clearly state anywhere what the cost of inventory check out is (nor any other fees for that matter) and it certainly doesn't detail the fees in my tenancy agreement, or any other paperwork I have ever received from them, until now, post leaving the property.

    Am I correct in my thinking that I am being unfairly charged for this?

    Thanks in advance.

    B

    #2
    There are two issues here.

    The agent has to comply with the law, but that doesn't change the agreement you made in the tenancy contract to pay the reasonable charges. The two things are not linked (in my view).

    However, the tenancy agreement is one between you and the landlord, not the agent (presuming they aren't one and the same). So the agent can't do anything if you don't abide by it - the landlord would have to take action for non-compliance.
    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


      #3
      Back I was renting in London, the agency tried to charge me 120GBP for a checkout process as a tenant for a studio flat, arguing that it was written within the tenancy agreement that I have to pay, and 120GBP was the fee their "partner" charges as standard. This from one of the bigger chain if letting agents in London.


      I have managed to argue that

      A. the fee was not shown anywhere up front.
      B. Although the agreement say I have to pay for the checkout process, it does not say I have to use their checkout agent. I managed to find a couple of quotes online for checkout services at about 30-40GBP, and told them I would use them instead since I was paying.

      In the end the estate agent gave up and didn't charge what turned out to be a 10minute job by one of their employees. (They tried charging 120 quid for that!)

      I would recommend you do the same, say you will pay for the checkout as per tenancy agreement, but elect to use your own services. Thus you are not violating the agreement.

      There are loads online that is quite cheap.

      Comment

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