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AIBU to think £600 admin fees to rent a flat is daylight robbery?

(58 Posts)
Birdy28 Mon 24-Nov-14 08:59:39

DP and I are having to move as current landlord is selling up after we have only been in the property for 6 months so money is tight.

Saw a flat on Saturday . Property is in this area for rent is very scarce and we only have 2 months to find somewhere.

The credit checks and admin fees are £600 inc deposit to move in (nearly £2500 altogether). Last time we paid this it was £200 for admin fees plus deposit with another agent. AIBU to think they are taking the mickey to charge £600 plus deposit?

I is this really the going rate with high street estate agents?

TheHobbit Mon 24-Nov-14 09:01:18

I know it's ridiculous. It's the same as what I paid to move into my small home with msny flaws sad

Tammy1212 Mon 24-Nov-14 09:04:00

Man I need to get into property these people make a killing!

RubbishRobotFromTheDawnOfTime Mon 24-Nov-14 09:08:04

YANBU. These charges are unlawful in Scotland so yes, it really is daylight robbery.

KoalaDownUnder Mon 24-Nov-14 09:10:58

That is absolutely extortionate.

Can you ask them to itemise it? Also, what does the law say about these kind of charges? I'd be checking the legality, myself.

RubbishRobotFromTheDawnOfTime Mon 24-Nov-14 09:14:16

I never understood how agencies could justify charging tenants for these things. It's their job, it's what they are for (getting tenants for flats) and their client, the landlord, pays them to do it out of his income (your rent). They're effectively charging twice for doing their day-to-day work.

bodhranbae Mon 24-Nov-14 09:14:43

The agencies are absolute shysters - and it is money for old rope.
What really gets my goat is the non-refundable application fee of £180 I saw last week.

This whole issue needs stricter legislation to rein these bastards in.

ThatBloodyWoman Mon 24-Nov-14 09:16:14

The whole private rented sector is a complete piss take.

HungryHorace Mon 24-Nov-14 09:16:53

There's a local agent to us who charges about the same. I just won't view anything they have on their books (which can be annoying!).

We only had to pay £50 last time, which I thought was fair. This time it's been £180, which I'm not enthralled about, but we loved the house.

Shelter wants the government to make the fees illegal. What's galling is that they often also charge the landlord for the same things, so get money twice.

HelloLA Mon 24-Nov-14 09:17:26

That's absolutely ludicrous -- where are you? I rent in London and the most a swanky agency has charged me was half that.

What's the breakdown of those fees? Are they related to how much rent you pay? Credit checks are incredibly cheap for agencies to run; as little as a few pounds each, if they use loads. Contracts are usually boilerplate with a few amendments. Proper inventories do cost more, but the whole cost (if any of it) shouldn't be placed on the tenant.

Does this agency put clear info about its fees online? I think they're legally obliged to now.

How much do they charge the landlord? I wouldn't be surprised if they're making a massive profit on credit checks etc by billing both parties.

Okay -- I usually hate it when people say 'oh, don't give these shysters your money', because I know what it's like to be renting and have very few options. But even I would baulk at paying a £600 non-refundable fee. It crosses the line between rip-off and shameless extortion.

If it makes you feel any better, though, I used to live in Germany and there you often have to pay the agency a non-refundable fee of 2.5 months' rent, plus VAT. And then your flat doesn't have any fucking kitchen. Balls to Germany rental agents.

bodhranbae Mon 24-Nov-14 09:22:36

I saw a property up for rent yesterday (UK) where the tenant was expected to pay the agency's monthly fee.

We must have stricter controls all round.

During my brief spell as a landlord (rented out my one bed flat for a year whilst I was overseas) I was screwed over by the agency. For one thing I didn't see a penny of income till month 4 because they took their commission in a lump sum. I had the mortgage to cover and it was a nightmare. Never again.

3catsnokids Mon 24-Nov-14 09:23:49

YANBU. My husband and i rent privately as we just don't earn enough to raise a deposit to buy and, while we have enough for monthly rent, we are effectively trapped in our flat as we can't afford the admin fee/deposit for another one. Luckily i do really like where we live, but we have a terrible mould problem that the agency aren't hurrying to fix plus a couple of other issues that mean we would like to look for somewhere else.

Nohootingchickenssleeping Mon 24-Nov-14 09:26:59

I'm confused. Does the £600 include the deposit or not? Sorry.

HungryHorace Mon 24-Nov-14 09:27:51

It won't, nohooting. It's the admin fees only.

HungryHorace Mon 24-Nov-14 09:28:22

Having re-read I can see why you've asked though!

HelloLA Mon 24-Nov-14 09:30:38

I actually think it's worth complaining to your local MP. I doubt they'd be able to help you individually, but there needs to be greater awareness that tenants are being ripped off like this. If Scotland can sort out regulations, I don't see why we can't.

carlsonrichards Mon 24-Nov-14 09:30:54


SomeSortOfDeliciousBiscuit Mon 24-Nov-14 09:36:42

That is completely ridiculous. The most we've paid is £80, for two people. We're looking at a house now and the fees are £20 per person. I'm actually worried they're too low.

I wish we could get fees made illegal in England too, or at the very least, itemised and capped.

Lunastarfish Mon 24-Nov-14 09:39:33

We've just paid £330 for two of us in London. Are you sure the £600 doesn't include a holding deposit? It does seem very steep otherwise

ItMustBeBedtimeSurely Mon 24-Nov-14 09:45:52

The government REALLY needs to do something about this. The law In Scotland seems sensible to me.

Absolutely disgraceful.

specialsubject Mon 24-Nov-14 09:47:40

letting agents are unregulated. But they are now obliged to detail the fees chargeable before you sign anything. In my town they all charge the same, £150 odd plus deposit. The landlord pays the same again, and yes, sometimes it is money for old rope. Trouble is that with the importance of not letting a wrong 'un into the property (because it takes six months and lots of money to get them out) it is risky not using an agent.

the deposit is not a fee - it remains your money.

yes, charging fees to tenants is now illegal in Scot-topia. So the charges go to landlords. Guess what has happened to rents?

HungryHorace Mon 24-Nov-14 10:00:15

Nobody has said that the deposit is a fee.

And even doing checks doesn't guarantee that you won't get a 'wrong'un'.

But the fees levied far outweigh the actual cost of the credit check / admin fees etc. They shouldn't be allowed to charge more than cost, if they're allowed to charge.

NotYouNaanBread Mon 24-Nov-14 10:02:50

As a landlord, YES - it's awful. The landlord is charged a fee for "paperwork" AND the 1st month's rent.

HonestLie Mon 24-Nov-14 10:05:23

I've never paid more than £50 for admin fees. I'm in Scotland. I've waived the fees and provided everything they needed to complete the check in house before too. Enquire on what you would have to do to waive the fees.

wonderstuff Mon 24-Nov-14 10:08:27

We paid £650 last time. Daylight robbery, only costs the agencies about £40 to run credit checks, then we got an annual £150 fee to renew contracts and £150 to check out. It's disgusting, needs regulating.

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