Letting Agents

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    #16
    I can't think of any situation where a customer hands over some money and is charged for the priviledge. Even Ryanair have to offer at least 1 free payment option.

    You are saying to the tenant that thay must give you some money, it is your responsibility to ensure that you handle that money in the manner required by law. It can be done quite easily, for free, through the DPS. In your case, as an overseas landlord, it may simplify matters if your tenants paid their deposit to you by cheque payable to the Deposit Protection Service.

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      #17
      If you hire an agent to find a tenant and set up the tenancy, imho deposit protection should be part of their job. Not least because if the deposit is paid to them they can also be held liable if it is not protected...

      If you hire an agent to manage the property, imho ongoing management of deposit protection should also be part of their job.

      That said, the truth is that you have discovered at your expense that many letting agents are first and foremost in the business of making up random fees to both landlords and tenants...

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        #18
        Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
        I can't think of any situation where a customer hands over some money and is charged for the priviledge. Even Ryanair have to offer at least 1 free payment option.

        You are saying to the tenant that thay must give you some money, it is your responsibility to ensure that you handle that money in the manner required by law. It can be done quite easily, for free, through the DPS. In your case, as an overseas landlord, it may simplify matters if your tenants paid their deposit to you by cheque payable to the Deposit Protection Service.
        Are you joking? Do you have a bank account? Do you invest money? When have you not been charged when somneone else has your money?

        I'm not asking the tenant to give me money to protect their deposit? I'm asking why a LA is charging me for such a service and not the tenant.

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          #19
          The deposit is the tenant's money but it is being given for the landlord's benefit. Its for the LL's protection. In the end, the LL does not have to request a deposit if he doesnt want one.

          The fee is for the hard work that the agents will put in protecting the deposit according to the law. I am sure it is negotiable and you can choose the cheapest agents. Or choose to do it yourself for free.

          Given agents these days add clauses that entitle them to any interest they make but their credit risk is on you, I would consider an extra fee a bit too much. Plus some of them (i.e. mine) charge the tenants for the hard work in returning their money!
          All views posted reflect my personal opinion only and do not constitute professional advice which I am not qualified or knowledgeable enough to provide.

          Comment


            #20
            Originally posted by jjlandlord View Post
            If you hire an agent to find a tenant and set up the tenancy, imho deposit protection should be part of their job. Not least because if the deposit is paid to them they can also be held liable if it is not protected...

            If you hire an agent to manage the property, imho ongoing management of deposit protection should also be part of their job.

            That said, the truth is that you have discovered at your expense that many letting agents are first and foremost in the business of making up random fees to both landlords and tenants...
            Your understanding of the position and your empathy is appreciated.

            Not here to have a moan - just trying to find a responsible like minded LA along the lines you have stated. :-)

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              #21
              Originally posted by zipit View Post
              1) Despite being reassured Tennant has a guarantor we were spectacularly unsuccessful in obtaining guarantor details to pursue a claim. What obligation has the letting agent to the LL in passing on these details?
              Were you given this re-assurance before you agreed to grant the tenancy? If so, why did you grant the tenancy without proof? If they didn't obtain a guarantor, and you take all necessary action against the tenant without success, then you sue the agent as per #13
              2) Why do letting agents charge the landlord a ‘setup’ fee and why do such fees vary?
              (a) Because finding tenants costs money and (b) because we live in a free-market economy.
              3) Why do letting agents charge the LL a fee for arranging for the deposit to be held and why do these fees vary?
              (a) Because staff time costs money and some forms of deposit protection costs money and (b) because we live in a free-market economy.
              4) As a LL am I entitled to see the credit report of a prospective tenant which has been obtained by a letting agent?
              Morally, yes. The governments information comissioner has issued guidance that implies that a tenant has to give approval of the release of such information. It is possible that the guidance is legally wrong, but the only way to get to the truth is to sue in the courts for the release of the information. In future, refuse to grant a tenancy to persons who will not sign such a release before the credit report is even requested.
              5)We have found that a tenant can refuse to pay the last month’s rent and elect to have this rent offset against the deposit. Often this means there is no money left in the event of damages. How can we avoid this in the future?
              This can not come as a suprise to you - the tenant can choose to do loads of different things, it doesn't mean they are allowed to! Surely your school teachers drummed into you the difference between can and may? There is no way to stop them doing it, all you can do is deal with this in the selection process - choose tenants who have good landlord references (last landlord, not current) and exhibit good financial behaviour (ie good credit history).
              6) Where can we find a reputable letting agent in the Liverpool which offers an independent arbitration service in the event of a dispute
              The independant arbitration service ou seek is called the county court - that is what it is there for. If an agent / landlord / tenant is paying an arbitrator, the chances are it will not be un-biased.

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                #22
                Originally posted by zipit View Post
                Are you joking? Do you have a bank account? Do you invest money? When have you not been charged when somneone else has your money?

                I'm not asking the tenant to give me money to protect their deposit? I'm asking why a LA is charging me for such a service and not the tenant.
                The bank doesn't demand I pay them money, I have the choice. Your tenant doesn't.

                I have been charged when someone has my money, not because they hold it, but for the service they offer me. You are asking the tenant (who has no choice) to pay a fee for a service the agents give you. You are not doing your tenants a favour or service by protecting their deposit, you are complying with the law.

                If you begrudge paying £30 or whatever for deposit protection, then DIY for free as I suggested or put the rent up by a huge £2.50 a month.

                Comment


                  #23
                  Originally posted by MSaxp View Post
                  The deposit is the tenant's money but it is being given for the landlord's benefit. Its for the LL's protection. In the end, the LL does not have to request a deposit if he doesnt want one.

                  The fee is for the hard work that the agents will put in protecting the deposit according to the law. I am sure it is negotiable and you can choose the cheapest agents. Or choose to do it yourself for free.

                  Given agents these days add clauses that entitle them to any interest they make but their credit risk is on you, I would consider an extra fee a bit too much. Plus some of them (i.e. mine) charge the tenants for the hard work in returning their money!
                  How can it be a benifit to the LL? If it's sole purpose is to recover potential losses?

                  Hard work. subjective. What is hard about lodging the money with a government agency. Do your costs actually reflect your actual costs? When did it become extra to the 10% management fee?

                  Comment


                    #24
                    What costs? sorry, I am not an agent. I meant the agents of the propery I rent and obviously 'hard work' was ironic. In the end its subjective. If you think its not worth £30, you can DIY.

                    It is a benefit to the LL as he is holding the deposit and can suggest deductions. You can also recover losses in courts, the deposit means the money will also be available and accessible. Imagine holding collateral for anyone that you might be having a claim against in the future. You can also reverse the argument. Who would be happier if no deposit existed? The tenant. Hence, its the LL who wants it. The protection schemes are only a legal requirement because of dodgy LLs spending the money or making deductions at will
                    All views posted reflect my personal opinion only and do not constitute professional advice which I am not qualified or knowledgeable enough to provide.

                    Comment


                      #25
                      Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                      The bank doesn't demand I pay them money, I have the choice. Your tenant doesn't.

                      I have been charged when someone has my money, not because they hold it, but for the service they offer me. You are asking the tenant (who has no choice) to pay a fee for a service the agents give you. You are not doing your tenants a favour or service by protecting their deposit, you are complying with the law.

                      If you begrudge paying £30 or whatever for deposit protection, then DIY for free as I suggested or put the rent up by a huge £2.50 a month.
                      If you elect to have a bank account or invest in a financial product - you do not have a choice on the ‘admin’ levies imposed by such a service.

                      It's still the tenant's money. They still have a choice - they elect to pay a deposit or not. They are not legally obliged to do so. They enter into an agreement knowing it is a requirement - the same as you do with a bank. They have to agree any deductions. They can elect to withhold rent based on the fact the deposit can be used to pay any outstanding amount. In short - the LL has no claim whatsoever on this money unless agreed by the tenant (without going to arbitration).

                      Comment


                        #26
                        Originally posted by MSaxp View Post
                        What costs? sorry, I am not an agent. I meant the agents of the propery I rent and obviously 'hard work' was ironic. In the end its subjective. If you think its not worth £30, you can DIY.

                        It is a benefit to the LL as he is holding the deposit and can suggest deductions. You can also recover losses in courts, the deposit means the money will also be available and accessible. Imagine holding collateral for anyone that you might be having a claim against in the future. You can also reverse the argument. Who would be happier if no deposit existed? The tenant. Hence, its the LL who wants it. The protection schemes are only a legal requirement because of dodgy LLs spending the money or making deductions at will
                        The LL does not hold the money? It's still the tenant's money. They still have a choice - they elect to pay a deposit or not. They are not legally obliged to do so. They enter into an agreement knowing it is a requirement - the same as you do with a bank. They have to agree any deductions. They can elect to withhold rent based on the fact the deposit can be used to pay any outstanding amount. In short - the LL has no claim whatsoever on this money unless agreed by the tenant (without going to arbitration).

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                          #27
                          Lets just agree to disagree then. In the end, if you dont see any benefit in holding a deposit, why are you asking for one? It would save you the £30 and if required, you could go to court for any damage caused.
                          All views posted reflect my personal opinion only and do not constitute professional advice which I am not qualified or knowledgeable enough to provide.

                          Comment


                            #28
                            Originally posted by MSaxp View Post
                            Lets just agree to disagree then. In the end, if you dont see any benefit in holding a deposit, why are you asking for one? It would save you the £30 and if required, you could go to court for any damage caused.
                            I think I agree with you MSaxp. Zipit, I wish you farewell.

                            Comment


                              #29
                              Originally posted by zipit View Post
                              I did read what you wrote. My intial question was how can I stop it happening. Did you read what I wrote?
                              Yes, I read it, and just re-read it.
                              Your intial question was NOT how you could STOP it from happening.

                              Good luck.
                              Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

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