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  • FIRST POST
    • sefog
    • By sefog 22nd Oct 19, 6:00 PM
    • 3Posts
    • 0Thanks
    sefog
    Charged an illegal referencing fee?
    • #1
    • 22nd Oct 19, 6:00 PM
    Charged an illegal referencing fee? 22nd Oct 19 at 6:00 PM
    I've recently applied to let a private flat at the estate agents, however, they charged me a referencing fee of £195. I was unaware that additional fees were illegal after 1st June, so I paid the fees and went on my way.

    My question is this, if I write the estate agents for a refund as per the TFA guidance document on the government website, can the estate agents prevent me from signing a tenancy agreement or affect my tenancy? (as of writing, I have completed referencing to their satisfaction but have not signed any tenancy agreement yet)

    and secondly, the fees that were charged weren't from the estate agents but from another company called JLF relocation, which I assume is part of the estate agent as when I called it was answered by someone from the estate agent. Is this a legal loophole which allows them to charge these fees?

    I apologize if any of the above is confusing, I am a first time renter and am struggling to understand what I should be and should not be paying,
Page 1
    • G_M
    • By G_M 22nd Oct 19, 6:58 PM
    • 50,107 Posts
    • 62,450 Thanks
    G_M
    • #2
    • 22nd Oct 19, 6:58 PM
    • #2
    • 22nd Oct 19, 6:58 PM
    I would get the tenancy agreement signed before you take any action just in case.

    However, you can then follow the guidance here:

    Tenant Fees Act 2019: guidance for tenants (updated July 2019)

    I'd also suggest (maybe I'm biased - or maybe just prefer use of legal action as a last resort) you write asking for a refund, quoting the Act, and only if that's refused take further action.
    Last edited by G_M; 22-10-2019 at 7:01 PM.
    • Wanderingpomm
    • By Wanderingpomm 22nd Oct 19, 7:01 PM
    • 253 Posts
    • 237 Thanks
    Wanderingpomm
    • #3
    • 22nd Oct 19, 7:01 PM
    • #3
    • 22nd Oct 19, 7:01 PM
    The only fee you can be charged is a holding deposit and that is refundable.

    Sign the contract and then tell them there has been an error and they owe you a refund.

    If they do not give you the money itís court time
    • sefog
    • By sefog 22nd Oct 19, 7:04 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    sefog
    • #4
    • 22nd Oct 19, 7:04 PM
    • #4
    • 22nd Oct 19, 7:04 PM
    Thank you for the advice, one further question though, do I address the letter to the estate agents (in this case abbot fox) or the company they used to charge me (JLF relocation)?
    • G_M
    • By G_M 22nd Oct 19, 7:29 PM
    • 50,107 Posts
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    G_M
    • #5
    • 22nd Oct 19, 7:29 PM
    • #5
    • 22nd Oct 19, 7:29 PM
    Who did you give the money to?
    • sefog
    • By sefog 22nd Oct 19, 8:47 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    sefog
    • #6
    • 22nd Oct 19, 8:47 PM
    • #6
    • 22nd Oct 19, 8:47 PM
    The receipt states that I paid JLF relocation, however, the fees were paid at the estate agent's office on behest of the agent. I'm fairly certain that both JLF relocation and abbotfox estate agents are run by the same people though as I've spoken to the same person working at both companies when calling them up.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 22nd Oct 19, 9:37 PM
    • 50,107 Posts
    • 62,450 Thanks
    G_M
    • #7
    • 22nd Oct 19, 9:37 PM
    • #7
    • 22nd Oct 19, 9:37 PM
    I would write first to the letting agent, and send a copy addressed to JLF relocation. If you don't have an address for them, use the agent's addres for the 2nd letter.

    Keep it friendly and polite, but a firm request for a refund based on the Act.

    Or use the sample letter in the guide.
    Last edited by G_M; 22-10-2019 at 9:39 PM.
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