Proof of Reference checks? - Agency Fee

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Proof of Reference checks? - Agency Fee

    Hi All,
    This is the first time I write here, sorry if this is not the way to ask for help.

    We have just moved to a new flat, and paid for Agency Fee £175 each one. It is a lot, but it is London... I asked what was it for, and the agency said:

    Processing of current/previous landlord reference.
    Processing of current/previous employer reference.
    Use of Credit reference agency to check applicant and Guarantor:
    (a) For any County Court Judgement (CCJ)
    (b) For any bankcruptcy & Insolvency.
    (c) For current address confirmation.
    Setting up for the tenancy agreement.
    Safe keeping of holding deposit until moving
    .

    Typical bullshit. The point is that we know that the agency didn't check few of those things: current landlord for both, current employer for both. And I think there is a way to see if someone has done a credit reference on you.

    I think they haven't done anything at all. I have asked them several times for a proof for all that. They ignored me for a while. Then they said they have paid a third party to do all the checks. So I asked for the receipt of that company or the contact. Nothing, just a receipt from the agency to me for the 2x Agency fee. Perhaps I am wrong, and they have done everything right, but I just want to be sure as it is a lot of money.

    Am I in the right of asking for these proofs ?
    Do they have to provide a proof ?
    Who could I talked to about this ?
    Citizen Advice Bureau ? Last I contacted, it took them around 5 months to reply...

    Any advice or help is welcome!

    Thanks a lot!
    Espinete

    #2
    So you're out to look for trouble to the agent starting right when moving in. Good for you, you're going to have a great time.

    You looked for a new place through a letting agent, they charged you a fee for referencing, which you accepted, and seemingly you got the place.
    Move on.

    Comment


      #3
      Agent can charge whatever they like (or can get away with) for providing you the service - there are no rules or regulations covering this. You have accepted those fees to set up your tenancy, so even if they have "skipped" a few points in the service they claim to have charged you for, you are very unlikely to be able to challenge the charge you have already paid.

      TBH, £175 per person is quite cheap these days - I have seen double that quoted elsewhere!

      Comment


        #4
        Once thing is that you agree for a fee, and accept it, right, a fee to few things being done: references, credit checks, etc...

        Another thing is how to be sure that what you have paid for has been done. You have paid for it, you should see a proof that has been done. That you agreed & paid the fee doesn't mean that they don't have to do it.

        Of course it seems I will not see the money, I know that, but I don't think is right.

        Comment


          #5
          Agent/landlord conduct whatever checks they want to decide whether they are happy to let to you. They don't have to do everything they listed to you.
          This is not to your benefit apart from allowing you to rent the property, which you did.

          So at this point the detail of the checks done is rather immaterial.

          Moreover, from the agent's reply you got the fee not only covers referencing but also the overall admin of preparing the tenancy agreement.

          Comment


            #6
            You have paid for the setup of a tenancy, whatever that entails. You dont actually pay for the items, you pay a fee for everything they need to do to start the tenancy, which includes X and Y. You didnt pay for the explicit items, you paid for starting the tenancy. Cheap or expensive, that is subjective and you could have challenged it before you paid it.

            The fact that a credit check was or wasnt done is of no consequence to you. If anything, you benefit from that, as it guarantees you being successful in your application. The only person who suffers a potential loss is your landlord as a credit check is protecting his interests. If they did credit check you and show you the report, will that make you happy about the £175? What you are complaining about is not that you didnt receive a service (the service is not of any benefit to you anyway) but that didnt incur any cost. Would it make you feel better if they paid £5 to get your report?
            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


              #7
              Originally posted by espinete View Post
              ....

              We have just moved to a new flat, and paid for Agency Fee £175 each one. It is a lot, but it is London... I asked what was it for, and the agency said:

              Processing of current/previous landlord reference.
              Processing of current/previous employer reference.
              Use of Credit reference agency to check applicant and Guarantor:
              (a) For any County Court Judgement (CCJ)
              (b) For any bankcruptcy & Insolvency.
              (c) For current address confirmation.
              Setting up for the tenancy agreement.
              Safe keeping of holding deposit until moving
              .

              Typical bullshit. The point is that we know that the agency didn't check few of those things: current landlord for both, current employer for both. ...
              Interesting: Think in your shoes I'd write (yes, WRITE!!!! email OK if you get a reply..) requesting proof that they did what they said regarding landlord & employer...

              Then if satisfactory proof they did contact them, cease & desist:

              If no proof or no reply think I'd talk to Plod about fraud &, if they are a member of any professional body (eg ARLA..) complain to them - after a formal, written, complaint to agent.

              Please do update them on their reply to request for proof: If they say they can't due to "Data Protection" they are I suspect lying b**ards as the info refers to you so you should be entitled to (most..) of it..

              Just to rub salt into your wounds such checks need only cost some £23 .. e.g. see..

              http://www.landlords.org.uk/services...t-check/prices
              (and they do check: I had a recent one where it wasn't finishing & it turned out the current letting agent wasn't responding & I had to tell tenant-checker to give me what he had...)

              I look forward to the updates...

              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


                #8
                Nobody has mentioned it but under the Data Protection Act you are entitled to be given the agency name that carried out the referencing checks, and to give you the source of those checks that they made on behalf of the letting Agent.
                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.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thanks for all your replies, quite useful.

                  I see different opinions, that is good as we can see different points of view.

                  I don't think the point is if they paid the £5 or not for the report, what I suspect is that they didn't do anything at all! And even if they didn't pay the report, sure that is not right.



                  Thanks theartfullodger! that is exactly what I was looking for, I have found that they are members of http://www.tpos.co.uk

                  Until now I've asked them few times, just now I asked them once more polite time, if they avoid an answer again (sure they will) then I will write a complain to where they are members.

                  An interesting part could be, that if they haven't done the references, the landlord could complain too (as she paid £400 to the agency to find the right people). I asked her about it, but for now she doesn't want any troubles, but if I found out that they didn't do any check, sure they should return her money too.

                  Thanks a lot, I let you know how is going!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Write (yes, WRITE!!! keep copy..) a calm, polite letter: Those are the ones that really wind people up.

                    btw do you have landlord's actual address?? If not ask for that as well - they need to supply within 21 days or criminal offence...

                    There are good letting agents... there good tenants.. there are even occasionally good landlords ..
                    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


                      #11
                      Troublemaker with too much time on his hands...

                      Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
                      Nobody has mentioned it but under the Data Protection Act you are entitled to be given the agency name that carried out the referencing checks, and to give you the source of those checks that they made on behalf of the letting Agent.
                      Yep, let OP pay another £10 to agent to get that.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by espinete View Post
                        An interesting part could be, that if they haven't done the references, the landlord could complain too (as she paid £400 to the agency to find the right people). I asked her about it, but for now she doesn't want any troubles, but if I found out that they didn't do any check, sure they should return her money too.
                        OK so I think it's been established in this thread that the agency were entitled to charge you regardless of whether they paid out a fee for credit-checking or not. So if you are able to 'prove' that they didn't, then you won't be getting a refund of your fee, so what exactly is your aim here?

                        If you succeed in demonstrating to the landlord that no credit check was done on you, then that will probably freak out the landlord and certainly cause a big rift between her and the agent.

                        After all that, how do you suppose your relationship will be with your new agent? Do you really need that hassle, and to what end?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Do we not all have a duty as citizens to out the fraudulent and dodgy??
                          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


                            #14
                            Agreed. Although I think its worth pointing out the difference between a poor service (to the landlord) agent of less than acceptable standards and any entitlement for a refund.
                            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


                              #15
                              Troublemaker ??? So you pay a agency fee for few things, then you realize some of those things haven't been done, ask for a proof of that, and you are the troublemaker?? lol
                              I would say that you are the guy of the agency!

                              Troublemaker is the one who didn't do his work, didn't do what was paid for, that guy is looking for future troubles for sure.

                              Has been established that there will be no refund ??
                              I am not sure, I mean, first at all, I think they should provide you with a proof of what they have done. A refund or not perhaps depends if a complain somewhere could get them into troubles.

                              My relationship with my agent is a business relationship, if they do something wrong, they have to answer to that. I have contract for 6 months, the landlord is quite happy with us, in case we both want to extend the contract, I don't think the agency has nothing to say (am I wrong?).

                              Comment

                              Latest Activity

                              Collapse

                              Working...
                              X