Agency check-out fees

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    Agency check-out fees

    Hi All

    Hoping someone can offer some clarity on this, I'm aware of the new landlord/agency fee law that came into force last year June. My private rental lease however was signed in Feb last year and there was no inventory check-in done when I moved in. The agency never conducts an inventory check-in when a new tenant moves in (and there is no check-in fee charged) but charges a £175 inventory check-out fee as per the contract. Is this legal or can I contest the check-out fee as I will not be renewing my lease this year when it expires due to moving country. Many thanks in advance for any insight.

    #2
    It depends when you leave. If that is after June this year, it is no longer a valid fee.

    Comment


      #3
      It will be hard to perform a check-out inventory as they are checked against a check-in, even if things are missing or broken it would be hard to prove it wasn't there prior to you moving in.

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks, it's not the check-out I'm worried about because this doesn't happen whenever a tenant leaves - what I'm querying is whether they can legally charge a check-out fee? A clause in the lease states that "the check-in fee shall be borne by the landlord" but the check-in is never done and they can't prove this - certainly not when I moved in.

        Comment


          #5
          I think it would be an issue as to whether it was an unfair term in a consumer contract, based on the fact that the check out report would be of no value to the landlord.

          Comment


            #6
            If the tenancy ends before May 31st 2020, the fee is probably legal (particularly if the value is fixed as part of the agreement).
            After June 1st, this year it's a prohibited fee, even in an existing agreement.

            The landlord not doing something they're meant to doesn't change the tenant's obligations.

            Just out of interest, what does the term in the contract actually say?
            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
              (a) Landlord will pay inventory costs on commencement. (no inventory check is done when a new tenant moves in).

              (b) Tenant to pay £175.00 inc. VAT inventory costs on check out.

              Clause (c) basically says that "At the end of the Tenancy there will be an inventory check to which the tenant will be invited to attend" which as stated never happens when a tenant vacates.

              Comment


                #8
                Well, it depends how picky you want to be, then.

                It doesn't say that you have to pay the landlord the £175.00.

                So you could, in theory, pay someone else to carry out the inventory and keep the information to yourselves.
                The landlord might try and deduct the cost from the deposit, and I have no idea what any arbitration might decide - so you might end up paying it twice.

                What I suspect the landlord is doing is use the previous tenant's check out as each new tenant's check in.

                From June, they can't do this anymore - although that doesn't help you a lot - it's very common to have this kind of clause in tenancy agreements, one of the reasons to ban it altogether.
                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
                  There are 3 distinct key events and associated artefacts:
                  1. Compilation of Inventory and Schedule of Condition Report - this may be what is referred to as inventory costs on commencement?
                  2. Checking the property against the Inventory and Schedule of Condition Report on the first day of the tenancy (aka Check-In)
                  3. Checking the property against the Inventory and Schedule of Condition Report/Check-In Report used/created and signed at the Check-In

                  if steps 1 and 2 were not done, step 3 is a complete nonsense and I would hope arbitration would see this like a sore thumb and question why you are being charged for a Check-Out when a Check-In was not carried out. If step 1 was done and step 2 was not the landlord may as well run the report through the shredder it is useless

                  Comment


                    #10
                    It doesn't matter if the inventory is useless, it just matters that it has to be done.
                    And, as above, I don't think it is useless, one tenant's check out is the next tenant's check in.
                    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

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