When can agents charge fees for references?

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  • When can agents charge fees for references?

    I saw this article recently about agents illegally charging fees for things like credit and reference checks before starting a tenancy. Does anyone know when this is and isn't legal in England (I'm aware the law is different in Scotland so, what the article describes might not be illegal in England)?

    My agents charged something like £150 admin fee for doing credit checks. I know it costs them nothing like this but, they wouldn't budge.

  • #2
    AFAIK most agents charge an admin and/or processing charge for references which in England & Wales is acceptable. They do however have to be reasonable and an applicant can ask for a breakdown of an agent's charges for such.
    The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

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    • #3
      Thanks. I did ask them why it was so much at the time but, they didn't really give a satisfactory answer. I guess it's common and, there's not really anything I can do about it since they had other people looking round the flat (my flat mate already lived there, I was moving in) and they'd have probably let it to them if I caused too much trouble.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
        an applicant can ask for a breakdown of an agent's charges for such.
        To paraphrase an old joke:
        - actual work: £5
        - knowing how to do it correctly: £145

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