L's agent charging T a 'Tenant Administration Fee'

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  • L's agent charging T a 'Tenant Administration Fee'

    Good Afternoon All,

    Great site, by the way!

    I was wondering what you thought about my current situation? I have scoured/searched the archives as well as the current forums, but I can't find anything that answers the question I have -so apologies if I've missed a salient post...

    Myself and a couple of friends rent a 3-bed house in South London (£1100pcm) via a well-known company with a penchant for garishly decorated Minis...ahem. We're all concerned with the amount (£380, inc. VAT) that we've just been charged to renew our AST for a further 12 months -a "Tenant Administration Fee"...Does this seem like a reasonable/usual amount for tenants to be charged?

    Any advice would be gratefully received -and please let me know if you need any extra information!

    Thanks in advance!

    s75

  • #2
    After watching the BBC programme about estate agents, this does not surprise me, I had another 'reputable' agent wanting to charge me another £750 to renew and exisitng tennacy! I settled at £150 as I thought the top figure was outrageous and the same amount as I paid them to find me a good tennant in the first place.

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    • #3
      Hi TootToot,

      Thanks for the response -although I may not have been clear...My friends and I are the tenants! (Although, if the landlord is being charged for administration fees, should the tenants be -or vice versa?)

      Cheers,

      s75

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      • #4
        Originally posted by scorchio75
        Thanks for the response -although I may not have been clear...My friends and I are the tenants! (Although, if the landlord is being charged for administration fees, should the tenants be -or vice versa?
        Oh I think you can assume they'll also be getting their pound of flesh from the landlord as well.

        It's a racket as far as I'm concerned; quite apart from the high cost of the fees there is actually no requirement to renew or re-issue a tenancy agreement - it's perfectly OK to leave it as is, and it then becomes by default a "periodic" tenancy - same T&C as the original agreement, except basically you need to give 1 months' notice to quit, and the LL needs to give you 2 months notice.

        But no doubt the agents will have it written into their contract with the LL that a new agreement must be issued every X months.

        Anyway, yes it sounds a lot of money earned for pressing the 'Print' button, especially if the LL is paying too!

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        • #5
          Thanks Ericthelobster, (gotta love those forum names!)

          I suppose my question now is whether to contact the LL and lead a two-pronged attack on the agent, or whether to contact the agent directly and request clarification on the costs and a potential part-refund, as we've already paid the admin fee?

          Thanks again for the responses!

          s75

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          • #6
            Having also seen the TV program on this agent, I'd say you've got a snowball's chance in hell of getting any concessions out of them. Try the LL direct, maybe he/she saw the prog too but I'd be willing to bet they've got him well stitched up with fees and delays if he tries to sack them. There is an argument for renewing a tenancy agreement although I personally do not agree with it but from talking to friends who have this arrangement, the highest fee any of them pay is £75 and that is just 1 mile north of the M25, very much commuter belt.

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            • #7
              Its daylight robbery as far as I am concerned! I had an agent try and charge me £45 to renew an AST 3 years ago! ... I told the LL and the agent that I was well within my rights to not sign, the LL was happy but the agent was not... I refused to sign so he did it for free! .. What can the agent do to you? His agreement is with the LL not you and if he tries to evict you the LL will not be happy!

              Read all ASTs and if the clause is in then request it be removed.

              Good luck in getting your money back... but I wont hold my breath... by the way... has anyone got a tape or DVD of that programme... I was at choir and missed it!... scrap that request I just found it on teleport replay I soo love that function!
              GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING: I am a woman and am therefore prone to episodes of PMT... if you don't like what I have to say you can jolly well put it in your pipe and SMOKE IT!!

              Oh and on a serious note... I am NOT a Legal person and therefore anything I post could be complete and utter drivel... but its what I have learned in the University called Life!

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              • #8
                [QUOTE=justaboutsane]Its daylight robbery as far as I am concerned!

                That is exactly what it is. I'd like to know how it is justified.Perhaps there's some agent out there who can explain and justify these costs.

                I await with baited breath!!
                Disclaimer:I have over 30 years experience in housing(both social and private) as an EHO and Building Surveyor.I am also a certified expert witness having spent the last 15years working in housing litigation.The advice I give is from experience in working for various Local Authorities and how the law is interpretated.Housing Law is a minefield and is continually being amended if in any doubt you should consult a solicitor or someone of equal legal standing.

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                • #9
                  Thanks for the responses -I think that I'll see how things go with the Mini-driving Mafia and wait until next year to see if they try to hit us with another exorbitant admin fee...

                  They're surprisingly off the ball, however -especially considering the size/reputation of the company. They've never supplied us with an inventory to sign, and our rent hasn't gone up...which is quite a surprise! (Although I'm sure that there are going to be problems when we come to move out...)

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                  • #10
                    [QUOTE=Wickerman]Just refuse to pay - what can they do?? serve notice on you? It is not their call and and if the LL finds out that he is going to lose xx months rental income due to a forced void period because the agent wants an extra pound of flesh he/she may hit the roof.

                    Doe's anyone know if the OFT have been involved in what is an outragous situation.A friend of mine has just coughed up a fee of £400.00 for a credit check and the tenancy agreement and this is from another"so called reputable high street agent".Landlords is this justifable to expect the tenant to pay for the credit checks and tenancy agreement.It seems that both landlords and tenants are getting ripped off by these people.
                    Disclaimer:I have over 30 years experience in housing(both social and private) as an EHO and Building Surveyor.I am also a certified expert witness having spent the last 15years working in housing litigation.The advice I give is from experience in working for various Local Authorities and how the law is interpretated.Housing Law is a minefield and is continually being amended if in any doubt you should consult a solicitor or someone of equal legal standing.

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                    • #11
                      Hello,
                      We also had our (well known national) agency trying to charge us £50 to renew the contract, we just asked to go to a periodic tenancy & they were fine with that (of course didn't mention that option until asked).

                      I also asked them what the fee was for, & all they could come up with was postage, printing & solicitor's fees. I tried to ask what the solicitors actually did as the contract would be exactly the same as the one it replaced, and the same again the next year, but they were having none of it & the whole office got involved. I had them all nodding sagely at the thought of teams of solicitors all independently drawing up identical, totally routine contracts...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by pms
                        Doe's anyone know if the OFT have been involved in what is an outragous situation.A friend of mine has just coughed up a fee of £400.00 for a credit check and the tenancy agreement and this is from another"so called reputable high street agent".Landlords is this justifable to expect the tenant to pay for the credit checks and tenancy agreement.It seems that both landlords and tenants are getting ripped off by these people.
                        Nothing to do with the OFT, caveat emptor, if they want to charge rip off prices and some mug is willing to pay, end of story. As for the tenant paying for credit checks, yes, why not, I don't charge it but others do, after all £9.00 is £9.00 . As for the tenancy agreement, it does take time to change name and address details but this is so little that I feel it should be included in the tenant finding service cost to the landlord.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MrWoof
                          Nothing to do with the OFT, caveat emptor, if they want to charge rip off prices and some mug is willing to pay, end of story. As for the tenant paying for credit checks, yes, why not, I don't charge it but others do, after all £9.00 is £9.00 . As for the tenancy agreement, it does take time to change name and address details but this is so little that I feel it should be included in the tenant finding service cost to the landlord.
                          Totally disagree!! The OFT should get involved or trading standards.
                          Disclaimer:I have over 30 years experience in housing(both social and private) as an EHO and Building Surveyor.I am also a certified expert witness having spent the last 15years working in housing litigation.The advice I give is from experience in working for various Local Authorities and how the law is interpretated.Housing Law is a minefield and is continually being amended if in any doubt you should consult a solicitor or someone of equal legal standing.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            On the basis that you have no contract with your agent there is little they can do to force you to pay the renewal. However, it may feature in your tenancy agreement in which case try and get in touch with your Landlord to say that you will not renew if you have to pay a ridiculously high fee. The agreement is between you and your landlord not the agent.

                            In terms of charging £50 for a renewal, I think that is quite reasonable (for the renewal, not per tenant obviously). This is a fair amount to charge for the amount of work that goes into agreeing a renewal, sending out contracts and replacing the standing orders if necessary.

                            As someone has pointed out there is no legal need for a renewal contract. This is absolutely the case but often Landlords and tenants want some security of tenure and like to sign for a fixed period. In these cases I do not feel a nominal charge to be unfair. However, the charges that have been mentioned so far are outrageous and I would absolutely not pay.
                            For the avoidance of doubt, I am not a solicitor nor a specialist. I have simply spent many years in the business and am expressing my opinions. I would urge caution to any individual using these forums as a sole basis for decision without first speaking to a solicitor.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by pms
                              Totally disagree!! The OFT should get involved or trading standards.
                              Do you mean that the OFT or Trading Standards are legally required to be involved? If so which authority should it be?

                              Agree they should be involved if their is an unfair trading situation that can be acted or their remit should be extended to cover grossly unfair and unreasonable business practices.
                              Vic - wicked landlord
                              Any advice or suggestions given in my posts are intended for guidance only and not a substitute for completing full searches on this forum, having regard to the advice of others, or seeking appropriate professional opinion.
                              Without Plain English Codes of Practice and easy to complete Prescribed Forms the current law is too complex and is thus neither fair to good tenants nor good landlords.

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