Please sign this Shelter petition to end letting agent fees to tenants!

(44 Posts)
coco87 Tue 24-Dec-13 14:24:26

At the moment letting agents are charging upwards of £500 for spurious fees and charges. Tenants already have to pay enough in terms of rent, deposit and inventory charges. Please sign this petition to help Shelter end letting fees for tenants. This is needed more than ever and especially at this time of year when so many people are threatened with homelessness. Thank you!

england.shelter.org.uk/campaigns/fixing_private_renting/letting_agencies

Chiggers Tue 24-Dec-13 14:31:51

Done.

What a brilliant petition.

We had to pay every bloody year for an updated contract - they refused to let it go onto roll-over and I was crying the first year because when we signed the new contract we got told we'd not have to pay anything, then they came chasing us for it. It makes me furious.

GrendelsMum Tue 24-Dec-13 14:51:02

Signed

coco87 Tue 24-Dec-13 14:51:12

Thanks guys!

NiceTabard Tue 24-Dec-13 15:02:13

I have signed as well.

I let out my first flat through an agency and the fee to me was a little over 1 months rent and they tried to flog me loads of crap services.

I assumed that was the fees. I was HORRIFIED when I found out they charged the tenant as well! Really disgusted.

When the year was up, they wanted another set of fees to renew the contract. I said actually I was happy with the tenant (and had researched contracts etc online and checked their T&C) and would do it myself thanks very much. They told me that I would have to pay the full fee anyway as they had introduced him, that year and every year. I said WTF where does it say THAT. They backed down and got the manager who said of course you can do it yourself. The young man had told me a Bald Faced Lie in order to get me to continue with them and get money out of me and I think more out of the tenant as well.

So anyway I told them to fuck off and got an assured shorthold tenancy agreement from smiths and he's been there 4 years and everyone is perfectly happy.

I can see that they got me a good tenant - that was a good service. But charging the tenant? trying to do it every year? All teh hidden costs and hard-sell extras? This industry needs some serious regulation now. And, as you say, an end to charging tenants for things that the landlord has already paid for.

NiceTabard Tue 24-Dec-13 15:03:08

AND on the news the other day they were all being racist.

All round a bunch of shysters.

Caitlin17 Tue 24-Dec-13 15:05:17

They are already illegal in Scotland.

Caitlin17 Tue 24-Dec-13 15:06:46

Oh and most leases in Scotland ojust roll over automatically

phantomnamechanger Tue 24-Dec-13 15:07:26

Heck, I am a LL, had no idea the tenants were charged for this stuff as well!!

coco87 Tue 24-Dec-13 15:15:35

Letting agents often overcharge BOTH landlord and tenant. Totally unscrupulous parasites.

FairPhyllis Tue 24-Dec-13 15:20:09

Signed.

YY, my very naive landlords were really shocked that they charged us too, and initially thought it would be possible to simply say 'oh no, don't make any changes to the contract and we'll do that bit ourselves'. hmm No such luck.

Gah. Didn't mean to imply it is naive not to realize LL charge tenants too - just my LL were quite naive and not in a position to just manage the place themselves, for which I understand you need to be pretty on the ball.

fluffyraggies Tue 24-Dec-13 15:26:45

signed

NiceTabard Tue 24-Dec-13 15:32:26

If you have a good tenant it's fine, LRD. I've had two, both long term, both kept the place scrupulous, I leave them pretty much to themselves TBH. And neither of them bothered me much either!

Maybe it was naive, I just assumed that the fees would be borne by the landlord as what they were charging me for (finders fee + contract) had it covered and of course they weren't about to offer that they were also charging the tenant.

I think that probably a lot of landlords aren't aware, TBH. Rather than they know and they don't give a monkeys if you get my drift.

Pointeshoes Tue 24-Dec-13 15:39:06

Signed

delasi Tue 24-Dec-13 15:44:36

Thank you for this link.

We only really have the option of private lets - low income, disability, some benefits, but not high priority for council housing in an already heavily oversubscribed area. Average costs are deposit 4-6 weeks, £450-650 referencing and admin fee (non-refundable), £100-150 renewal fee every year (non-refundable), £95-120 check out fee on leaving (non-refundable). Some write a professional clean on leaving into the contract.

This is for a 2 bed flat, average to poor condition, unfurnished, sometimes no white goods inc. cooker, in undesirable area. Rents are £290-320 per week.

I'd be amazed if all the LLs realised this in these cases.

nice - oh, sure. I just didn't want to come across as guilt-tripping anyone there. I can understand why my LL wanted agents as they were very new to it - though we were good tenants.

ShitOnAStick Tue 24-Dec-13 16:05:15

I'll sign! Our letting agency doesn't charge massive fees but it's still loads especially when you already have to pay first months rent in advance and a deposit of six weeks rent. Our agency charged us 200 quid "admin" fees and every time we renew it's 25 quid so it's not too bad but I don't see why we have to pay at all. We used to rent managed by the landlord direct and he charged us 15 quid to cover the cost of a credit check. That was the only charge.

Ruffcat Tue 24-Dec-13 16:06:53

Signed and bumped

dontquotem3 Tue 24-Dec-13 16:10:53

Done and shared.

coco87 Tue 24-Dec-13 16:14:25

The reason why letting agents are doing this is because they are not selling enough houses so need to make money another way and they came up with this - squeeze money out of both the landlords and the already hard pressed tenants. Since tenants do not have a choice but to pay these fees if they want a place to live they have no choice to pay up to the letting agent mafia.

Catsnotrats Tue 24-Dec-13 16:20:05

Signed

I rent out a couple of flats, one to a group of girls in their early 20s. One wanted to move out mid contract and they had a friend to replace them which I was completely fine with. The agency charged them £70 for credit checks and £150 'admin charges' to change the name on the contract. I was so cross on their behalf when they told me that I stopped using them and have gone it alone ever since. I've had a couple more tenants from the group come and leave over the last 3 years but I've had absolutely no problems. It usually takes me 10 minutes and the cost of printing and a stamp to change the contract. It's completely unacceptable to charge these ridiculous fees for very small routine tasks.

CaptChaosGlitteryBaubles Tue 24-Dec-13 16:28:48

Signed, I haven't rented for about 10 years, and my letting agents didn't do this, we might have to short term rent between our tied house and the one we're buying, I hadn't factored in an enormous agency fee as well!!

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