Letting Agency charge for external check out

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    Letting Agency charge for external check out

    In out T & C we apparently signed March 09 to say we would accept that the check out charge + VAT would be taken fromt he deposit. Bearing in mind we were under no illusion that the leaving day would ever come, we were so pleased to get the property it was all signed.
    I have since asked for another copoy of it and there it is £90 + VAT for check out done by Castles an external inventory company.
    On our T & C it also states that these charges can change, it would have been a positive jesture for the LA to inform us of this.
    Theres no way either at the beginning or end of the rental period that we could disagree with the charges, if we did we couldn't rent, a bit stupid really.
    I have since told our previous LA that I thought this was quite underhanded, I was told it was nothing to do with them they just passed the invoice on.
    So if our LA says it charges £90 + VAT and the check out was £300 we woulod just have to pay that, nothing said.
    My point is that they invoiced us for £111.63, no break down of how m uch the VAT is and no indication it wasn't £90 - although clearly its not.
    Anyone think they should have told us in advance or is it not worth bothering about - trouble is it is when it takes the full amount to just over 3K for moving costs etc, that was just the pound that tipped me over the edge!!

    #2
    Well, the price rose to £95 which, with the added VAT, gave you the price you were given.

    To be honest, I'm not sure what would have happened if they had taken the mick and asked for £300, I'd like to think there were measures in place to protect consumers from this (how you agree to a price if you don't know what it was), but as the price has only gone up by less than a tenner, I don't know if it's worth the hassle in complaining.

    Assuming you're a private tenant and not a VAT-registered company, I don't know why you'd want the VAT breakdown anyway. It always annoys me when companies say to private individuals "oh that'll be £90+VAT". Just give me the full price you twonk! I can't claim the VAT back!

    Comment


      #3
      Not helpful this post but I've just done my annual Scottish Accreditation update session: There I learnt charging tenant anything for inventory/check-in/check-out is illegal in bonnie Scotland. Why? Well up there there is the "Repairing Standard" and all that goes with it (eg independent body to adjudicate between tenant & LL if they can't agree) and that says inventory & checking thereof is for the benefit of the landlord and so he should pay. Yes, some agencies still charge.. the press are onto it...

      Also no "fines" so no charges to T for writing them letter for eg late rent payment...

      In some ways (eg LL registration, PRHP adjudication, 20 years not 6 on Sheriff Court decrees to recover the ££) Scots law is more attractive than English: In others (eg TDS, "Quiet Enjoyment" etc) English more attractive that Scots..

      Cheers!

      Lodger
      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


        #4
        Originally posted by GillsMan View Post
        Assuming you're a private tenant and not a VAT-registered company, I don't know why you'd want the VAT breakdown anyway.
        We are private tenants, we are also both disabled and therefore are exempt from VAT on some purchases and services.
        Companies that are VAT registered should show their VAT registration number and the amount of VAT they are charging.
        I therefore can reclaim this amount if it is applicable.

        I agree that the amount has only gone up by less than a tenner but its the principle that they think they can just charge what they like and we will pay.

        If everyone did this we would have paid out a lot more and because we were 'persuaded' to vacate I think it cost quite enough of my hard earned pension money.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post

          In some ways (eg LL registration, PRHP adjudication, 20 years not 6 on Sheriff Court decrees to recover the ££) Scots law is more attractive than English: In others (eg TDS, "Quiet Enjoyment" etc) English more attractive that Scots..

          Cheers!

          Lodger
          Perhaps I will re-locate my properties brick by brick to Hadrian's Wall and have the best of both worlds.

          And before anyone starts muttering that Hadrian's Wall is no longer the border or I can't build a house on it, then it's just tough. I will have no truck with meddling town planners!
          '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


            #6
            Originally posted by red_jude View Post

            I agree that the amount has only gone up by less than a tenner but its the principle that they think they can just charge what they like and we will pay.
            No, I think that if it had suddenly rocketed to £300 when £90 is mentioned in the TA, you would have had a case for not paying it. I cannot quote you the relevant legislation but I am pretty sure it exists.
            '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
              £95 is nothing, we got charged £175 and it wasn't in the agreement just in another piece of paper the letting agent said we had signed but he wouldnt show us it.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by red_jude View Post
                I agree that the amount has only gone up by less than a tenner but its the principle that they think they can just charge what they like and we will pay.
                Same applies when the LL pays for the check-in report; Acme Inventories may well turn round and say their charges have risen 5% since last year, and as LL I have no choice but to pay. In the last month I've received letters informing me that charges for fuel, satellite TV, car insurance, and phone have all gone up. It's just life.

                However, if the LL had tried to charge £300 you would have had a case to argue that the charges were unreasonable.

                If you need a VAT receipt, just ask for one.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by red_jude View Post
                  I agree that the amount has only gone up by less than a tenner but its the principle that they think they can just charge what they like and we will pay.
                  You signed a document which stated you agreed to paying a fee of £90+vat, and that you were aware that this figure could increase. Then 18 months later, you find that the fee has increased by 6% and are affronted. Given that this represents an increase of about 4% per annum, pretty much in line with general inflation, I don't really understand your problem with it.

                  You evidently don't like the T&Cs permitting the charges to be varied at will. What would have happened if you'd decided to stay put for 20 or 30 years? After that time I expect £90 would be about the cost of a loaf of bread, and I'm sure you'd realistically expect the check-out charge to be a little more than that by that time? How, therefore, would you advise the agent to word his T&Cs?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
                    Also no "fines" so no charges to T for writing them letter for eg late rent payment...
                    But it's a general principle, surely (even under E&W law) that you can't fine tenants like this; you're only allowed to pass on the admin costs of writing the letter... so does the Scottish law actually now stipulate this?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I do agree that it is just life, that things do go up and yes we are informed of how much they are going up by.
                      The agents did say they would reword their T & C to show tenants that costs from check out companies had gone up and by how much, thats fine, I have no problem with that.
                      By the way whoever wrote ( as a LL ) that they had to pay increased check in charges, it wasn't our LL who paid this, we were also privy to this cost.
                      Total of costs to date from this move, including 10 weeks rent up front have now risen to £3750, how many ordinary working class people have this amount available to pay out?
                      Sorry if I've mentioned this before but I am so peed off by this unnecessary situation.
                      We vacated that property on 22nd July and it is still vacant.
                      By the size of the papers etc behind the door there has been no one in the front door - and no we haven't been in.

                      Strange way to do business, thats £1500 in rent.

                      Having said that I would still rather be a tenant than a landlord and probably not for the reasons you are thinking of.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
                        does the Scottish law actually now stipulate this?
                        Irrelevant; property is ion E&W.
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                        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
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                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by red_jude View Post
                          but its the principle that they think they can just charge what they like and we will pay.
                          Not so. You can read the tenancy agreement and query anything before signing.
                          If you didn't, read the tenancy agreement, for whatever reason, you then agree to be subject to all the effects of not reading the tenancy agreement before signing it.

                          I specify in my agreements that check out cost (which the tenant pays) will not exceed a certain amount, but the this cost is till far away from that amount (just covering myself).

                          You have learnt an important lesson at very little cost.
                          I would have thought you would be quite grateful instead of complaining about something that hasn't really happened to you.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by HairyLandlord View Post
                            Not so. You can read the tenancy agreement and query anything before signing.
                            If you didn't, read the tenancy agreement, for whatever reason, you then agree to be subject to all the effects of not reading the tenancy agreement before signing it.

                            I specify in my agreements that check out cost (which the tenant pays) will not exceed a certain amount, but the this cost is till far away from that amount (just covering myself).

                            You have learnt an important lesson at very little cost.
                            I would have thought you would be quite grateful instead of complaining about something that hasn't really happened to you.
                            Believe me we have learnt a very important lesson but I don't agree at little cost.
                            We moved into that house on the understanding it would be 'forever' if we wanted it to be.
                            We made it our home, we had permission to get professional decorators in all at our cost, apart from problem to his property we didnt ask for anything. Paid the rent on time each month - in fact a week before it was due!
                            The T & C were very clear, we understood them, I read everything inside out and we did know there would be a check out charge, we also knew this could increase.
                            We weren't too bothered by that, we weren't looking to move remember. So when the check out was imminent it wasn't obvious to us how much it had increased and the info wasn't forthcoming.

                            Please don't tell me a lesson has been learnt at little cost, this experience has almost caused a mental breakdown, a relapse from a heart condition and financial meltdown.
                            The lesson I will remember is never believe a LL who says the property is yoiurs for a long as you want but isn't forthcoming about making the lease longer than 12 months -initially. He was just an out and out business man with too many properties that he didnt care, oh! and he was a liar! bitter, cynical, me?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Whilst Jeffrey is of course correct that this is irrelevant,,,

                              Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
                              But it's a general principle, surely (even under E&W law) that you can't fine tenants like this; you're only allowed to pass on the admin costs of writing the letter... so does the Scottish law actually now stipulate this?
                              - as it happens, according to the excellent Govan Law centre.. (Rab C? ? Where are you laddie??)

                              http://www.govanlc.com/illegal-tenancy-charges.htm

                              There is these little gems of...

                              Rent (Scotland) Act 1984: s 82 - Prohibition of premiums and loans on grant of protected tenancies.
                              &
                              Housing (Scotland) Act 1988: s 27 Prohibition of premiums etc. on assured tenancies.
                              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

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