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    Student let

    My daughter is moving into a shared flat with 3 other students. She wants to set up a standing order for her portion of the rent. The agent says they must all pay the rent into one joint account and the SO will go from that account. If one person fails to pay the rent within 7 days of the due date they will each be charged £25. Is this correct or standard procedure? It does not seem fair as they can clearly see who the culprit is.

    I have also read that if this does occur, the credit rating for all on the agreement is affected even though they have not had a late payment.

    #2
    It's neither correct nor standard, it amounts to a fine and only courts can impose a fine.
    I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

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      #3
      Originally posted by jta View Post
      It's neither correct nor standard, it amounts to a fine and only courts can impose a fine.
      Thank you,
      I am confused now, because I have read on a couple of websites for agencies that they do this. How can they get away with this i their agreements if it is not correct. I don't want to interfere because these students are 20 years old but what can they do about this, the agency says its their standard procedure.

      Comment


        #4
        Agency websites? Not the most reliable of information sources.

        If people just accept it then they get away with it, it does not make it correct.

        Other members will advise you, I'm sure of my opinion on this.
        I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

        Comment


          #5
          Thank you, Please don't think I am doubting your word. I want a sure answer that is why I asked the question on here. I am not sure how to advise on dealing with it. Would you suggest that thestudents contact their housing dept at the university to get assistance? I know they can go and speak to the agent but these agencies can be quite difficult to deal with for students that haveno experience in these matters.

          Comment


            #6
            Is this a condition of the tenancy as spelled out in the tenancy contract they have all signed, or is this something the agent has just sprung upon them after they signed up for the tenancy?
            '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
              The landlord can not realistically refuse rent - so if daughter deposits £x into the landlords account, then some of the rent for the property has been paid - full stop.

              Worth bearing in mind that she doesn't have a 'share' of the rent, she could be held liable for the full rent.

              If one tenants actions (ie not paying some rent) results in a fee being charged then all tenants are jointly responsible.

              However, the agent can not charge individuals fees - the 'tenant' in a joint tenancy is a legal entity comprising of multipe persons - your daughter being one of them.

              The agents are proposing to charge 'the tenant' £100 for a 7 day rent delay. Such a fee is allowable but the size of the fee in no way reflects the costs that the agent will suffer as a result of the breach.

              Schedule 2 Para 1(e) of the 1999 Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations describes "requiring any consumer who fails to fulfil his obligation to pay a disproportionately high sum in compensation" as indicative of an unfair contract.

              Comment


                #8
                I agree in principle with what Snorkerz says but I think we need to know what the Ts signed up to (if anything) in terms of arrangements for paying rent.
                '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


                  #9
                  Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                  I agree in principle with what Snorkerz says but I think we need to know what the Ts signed up to (if anything) in terms of arrangements for paying rent.
                  It would certainly be useful to know the exact wording of the late rent clause. TBH though, any clause which requires a payment of (even) £25 for a 7 day delay has surely to be covered by the last para of my last post.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                    It would certainly be useful to know the exact wording of the late rent clause. TBH though, any clause which requires a payment of (even) £25 for a 7 day delay has surely to be covered by the last para of my last post.
                    I agree. Charging 'the Tenant' in a joint tenancy a fee/fine of £100 for each late rent payment has to be unenforceable.

                    I'm sure the LL thought he had hit upon a neat, greedy little trick to ensure they all paid on time; I hope it backfires on him.
                    '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


                      #11
                      Originally posted by voyagerbear View Post
                      Thank you, Please don't think I am doubting your word. I want a sure answer that is why I asked the question on here. I am not sure how to advise on dealing with it. Would you suggest that thestudents contact their housing dept at the university to get assistance? I know they can go and speak to the agent but these agencies can be quite difficult to deal with for students that haveno experience in these matters.
                      I agree with the what other posters have said and only comment now on your overall position rather than legal options.
                      As a LL I have experienced a similar situation with my daughter at Uni over last three years. Naturally I reviewed the Agreement and found many terms and conditions less than palatable. In fact, downright one sided. Yet with the nicer properties in university towns being in high demand, all things were in letting agents/LL favour.Since the Agreement was not illegal we could only complain and ask for some things to be changed. They were not. we had to live with punitive measures and financial handling. This is how we found things to be as regards uni lets and standard around all agents. Very very tightly controlled agreements. In a pragmatic light I can see how there is a risk letting to young students and if I was doing this I would wish a watertight agreement.
                      Good luck, challenge what terms you are not happy with but I would feel yo will come up short. Esp as regards indiv student liability if things go wrong i.e one rogue student in the house, all will be deemed culpable and liable in these agreements, as we had to live with. But so far all has gone well.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Charles19 has some interesting and valid points about the practicalities of the situation.

                        If the landlord were to apply the fee and the girls didn't pay, I don't think he would be able to recover the fee from them, or the deposit providing the girls declined ADR.

                        Charles mantioned joint liability - a fact of life - but if you are a guarantor you should be aware that it is possible to set up a guarantee where the guarantor is only liable for 'their' tenants direct liability - ie if Sarah doesn't pay, Amy's guarantor doesn't end up with the bill.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                          [/B][/I]Charles mantioned joint liability - a fact of life - but if you are a guarantor you should be aware that it is possible to set up a guarantee where the guarantor is only liable for 'their' tenants direct liability - ie if Sarah doesn't pay, Amy's guarantor doesn't end up with the bill.
                          From previous discussions on this forum I understand that a guarantee can be set up so that the max. liability of the guarantor is limited to e.g. half the due amount in case of 2 joint tenants, I cannot see how it could limit liability to "their tenant's direct liability".
                          Or more accurately I do not really understand what is the definition of this considering a joint and several liability exists among joint-tenants.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            LL& guarantor are at liberty to agree whatever wording they wish: I'd agree it might make interesting times interpreting it in court.

                            My agent (only 1 student let) doesn't seem to do the paperwork rigourously but mummy&daddy apparently cough up if need be. Do I recall some Universities won't permit graduation if there are outstanding legal disputes with LL (or is that a myth...). Certainly the "suggestion" that one might think about discussing e.g. noisy behaviour with the Uni authorities seems to sort it PDQ...

                            Cheers!
                            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


                              #15
                              The basic principle with regard to rent is that the individual guarantor is liable for up to (in the case of 4 sharers) one quarter of the rent less any amount already paid by that individual.

                              So, if Amy has paid her full quarter of £10,000 joint rent then her guarantor is liable for £2500 less the £2,500 Amy has paid - therefore 'nothing'.

                              If Sarah has only paid £1000 rent (leaving LL £1500 short) then her guarantor is liable for £2500 less the £1k Sarah has paid - £1,500.

                              It just ensures that 'liability' stays in the morally correct (imho) place.

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