Booking fee help please!!

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    Booking fee help please!!

    Hi, first time poster just after a bit of help regarding my tenancy

    im a university student currently under a shorthold tenancy agreement in which i resign a new contract every year, with every coming year instead of placing down a desposit as i have done with previous tenancies they ask for something called a booking fee? i was wondering if this was at all legal as it all sounds a bit iffy to me.

    there are currently 5 of us staying in the house each paying 390 a month bringing a normal deposit figure to 1950, the booking fee way means we each pay 175 at the begining of each year which over the space of a three year uni course is 2625 quite a difference

    Any help would be apprecaited with this matter

    #2
    Originally posted by Lewis2018 View Post
    Hi, first time poster just after a bit of help regarding my tenancy

    im a university student currently under a shorthold tenancy agreement in which i resign a new contract every year, with every coming year instead of placing down a desposit as i have done with previous tenancies they ask for something called a booking fee? i was wondering if this was at all legal as it all sounds a bit iffy to me.

    there are currently 5 of us staying in the house each paying 390 a month bringing a normal deposit figure to 1950, the booking fee way means we each pay 175 at the begining of each year which over the space of a three year uni course is 2625 quite a difference

    Any help would be apprecaited with this matter
    I'm sorry, but your post is rather confusing.

    Has the LL (or his agent) ever explained what the 'booking fee' covers? Have you asked?

    Is the 'booking fee' returnable?

    Are you saying that you have been asked for three lots of £175 each over three years, but have not paid a deposit as such? Where does the £1950 come into it?
    '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


      #3
      Do you have an indiiividual AST letting of your room, or is the letting collective for the whole house?
      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
      2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
        Do you have an indiiividual AST letting of your room, or is the letting collective for the whole house?
        Had I three eyes, I'd see thee! (Apologies to Macbeth)
        '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


          #5
          Well spotted. The problem remains, despite your attempt at diversion: the position depends on whether OP has own tenancy or not.
          JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
          1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
          2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
          3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
          4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
            Well spotted. The problem remains, despite your attempt at diversion: the position depends on whether OP has own tenancy or not.
            Pot...kettle!

            I may well be missing something vital here, but...does it? If OP and each of his housemates have been charged a 'booking fee' of £175 per year (which I suspect is non-returnable), what difference does it make whether they have a joint AST, or individual ASTs?

            It is not in fact unusual for letting agents to charge students about £200 each to introduce them to a LL/find them a place to live, regardless of whether the tenancy is joint or individual. Might this not simply be what has happened?

            As I see it, the problem remains that OP has struggled to explain his situation very clearly.
            '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


              #7
              Lewis2018 - as well as answering Jeffrey's question and MTGs, can you confirm that you are in England/Wales?

              Comment


                #8
                Hi, again the landlord explained to me that the booking fee was to cover general maintenance of the house cleaning at the end of each year etc and this wasnt optional, the contracts are done on a room by room basis, and they insist on this 175 being paid each year

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Lewis2018 View Post
                  Hi, again the landlord explained to me that the booking fee was to cover general maintenance of the house cleaning at the end of each year etc and this wasnt optional, the contracts are done on a room by room basis, and they insist on this 175 being paid each year
                  Did you at some point sign something agreeing to pay this fee? If so, there is not much you can do, unless you feel that the service you paid for was not provided. (Was it?)

                  Did you pay a damages deposit as well?
                  '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


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Lewis2018 View Post
                    Hi, again the landlord explained to me that the booking fee was to cover general maintenance of the house cleaning at the end of each year etc and this wasnt optional, the contracts are done on a room by room basis, and they insist on this 175 being paid each year
                    Maintainance and cleaning of communal areas is the landlords responsibility, and he would usually fund that by setting the rent at a rate that covers the expense. In effect, he has reduced the 'headline rent' by £14.58 per month - possibly to make it appear more competative with other properties. I suspect there is nothing 'illegal' about it, however are you aware that you don't HAVE to sign a new contract every year? Section 5 of the 1988 Housing Act says that when your fixed term comes to an end, you are automatically moved onto a "Statutory Periodic Tenancy".

                    The downside of that is that your landlord could issue a section 21 notice giving you at least 2 months to leave. If he did that, and you didn't leave, he couldn't throw you out, he would need to get a court order, and ultimately bailiffs. That is likely to take an additional couple of months at least.

                    If your landlord does not have a HMO licence and needs one, he can not evict using the above method.

                    If you have paid any sort of deposit, and it has not been protected in an approved scheme, he can not evict using this method.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                      If you have paid any sort of deposit, and it has not been protected in an approved scheme, he can not evict using this method.
                      ...but only for deposits paid on/after 6 April 2007.
                      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                      2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                        ...but only for deposits paid on/after 6 April 2007.
                        Not applicable in this case, of course:
                        Originally posted by Lewis2018 View Post
                        im a university student currently under a shorthold tenancy agreement in which i resign a new contract every year,
                        '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


                          #13
                          ...unless pre-060407 deposit is brought-forward where there's an argument re whether an earlier deposit counts as newly-received by L each time).
                          JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                          1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                          2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                          3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                          4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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