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MSE News: OFT wants crackdown on surprise letting charges

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Comments

  • Peggy0628
    Peggy0628 Forumite Posts: 120
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Name Dropper
    Forumite
    This is my experience.
    Viewed a house, decided to go for it... Was told by the LA about the charges: Bond £450, rent £450 and a referencing fee of £180. Was fairly happy with that. Everything went fine, we agreed a moving in date, I arranged a removal van etc...

    When I went to sign the contract and collect the keys a week later I was told that I also had to pay £75 for inventory check and £50 admin fee otherwise I won't get the keys.

    I know it's only and extra £125 but still, I should had been told about these fees at the time of viewing (we discussed the rent, bond and referencing cost at that time). Why did they keep these extra charges hidden from me untill I had no way to back out (I was returning keys to my old house 2 days after moving into this one and the LA knew that) and I didn't really have a chance to find another house that quickly...

    Surely, the LA should have a duty to provide the total cost of all charges upfront. If I had all the information from the start than I would be able to make an informed decision and compare this LA against others and maybe I would find someone cheaper...

    It's not fair on tennants to be forced into a situation where they have to choose between paying extra money they did not budget for or not being able to move into their chosed property if they're unable to pay these unexpected charges.
    Moving is expensive and stressful as it is and having to deal with dishonest LA ripping you off makes it even worse...
  • GingerWarrior
    GingerWarrior Forumite Posts: 264
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    Very interesting read, however it would be useful if companies provided their admin fees once you register with them.

    My girlfriend and I are really keen on a 3 bed place and we got the "pre-tenancy" letter through with all the fees...

    Tenancy Agreement - £180
    Reference fee - £160 (£80pp)
    Admin fee - £120
    Inventory fee - £223.25

    That's a total of £683.25 for a property with a rent of £975.

    Granted we've negotiated the rent down from £1050 but now feel that we're being charged extra with all the additional fees.

    Another LA gave us costs of £246 for tenancy agreement, referencing, admin and inventory for a slightly smaller 2 bed place but with a rent of £950.

    Would challenging the costs with the LA be acceptable?

    2021
    DFW 2021 - £6,851.06 / £7,147.80 (95.85%)

    2022
    DFW 2022 - £2,169.99 / £2,169.99 (100%)

    2023
    DFW 2023 - £0,00 / £2,207.83 (0.00%)

    Tilly Tidy 2022 - Jan £23.71 - Feb £73.75 - Mar £95.30 (Q1 savings used on holiday spending money) - Apr £68.90 - May £32.26 & Chase Roundup £392.63

    Debts (as at 03/10/2022)
    M&S Loan - £0.00 (cleared 28/02/22 - £4285.37)
    MBNA C/C - £0.00 (cleared 02/01/22)
    Lloyds C/C - £0.00 (cleared 03/10/22)

  • Misty7
    Misty7 Forumite Posts: 22 Forumite
    I feel I was verbally misled by my Letting Agent, I agreed to a 6 month Full Management Contract with the agreement that I could choose whether to continue with it at the end of the 6 months or change to just a Tenancy Agreement. I have now discovered that if I change I have to pay them £600 for terminating the contract. I have read the small print and of course they are correct, I read the small print previously but I read it , or so I thought in the knowledge that the contract was 6 months and now I see there is no end date, so it seems I have no choice. :(
  • Ulfar
    Ulfar Forumite Posts: 1,309 Forumite
    Simply put the whole industry needs regulation. The only fee that a tenant should have to pay should be the referencing one and that should be capped.

    Inventory fees, Admin fees, etc are a con.

    The letting agent has a contract with the landlord not the tenant, it is the landlord who should be charged and he should have to factor this in when setting the rent.
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