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Are landlords allowed to charge students a fee for finding them a house?

(12 Posts)
AgonyBeetle Wed 25-Oct-17 20:24:16

My dc is part of a group of 8, and the agency is charging them £100 each (non-refundable) to reserve a house that they won’t move into until next sept. This is in addition to 6 weeks’ rent as a deposit.

Is this legit?

AgonyBeetle Wed 25-Oct-17 20:25:03

Argh, it’s not the landlord charging the fee, but the letting agency.

NapQueen Wed 25-Oct-17 20:26:26

No idea if it is legal but it makea absoloute sense. If they dont charge a deposit then the students could just pull out the week before.

Sounds like an area which has significant demand for this sort of accomodation.

AdalindSchade Wed 25-Oct-17 20:28:59

The holding deposit should be deductible against the first month rent. Sounds like a scummy scammer letting agent to me. Those fees will be illegal soon

insert1usernamehere Wed 25-Oct-17 23:47:31

I'm afraid that, unless you're in Scotland, agents' fees are entirely legal. There has been talk of banning it in England, but it seems to be one of those things that's announced ("hurrah, maybe the Tories do care about the young and the poor after all) and then quietly dropped ("oh wait, pigs might fly") www.theguardian.com/money/2017/oct/21/rent-property-letting-agent-fees-government-ban

theaveragewife Wed 25-Oct-17 23:49:36

Possibly referencing, inventory checking and contract fees. Legal, but disgusting way of taking advantage of people with limited options.

BuggerOffAndGoodDayToYou Sat 28-Oct-17 20:14:28

That's exactly what my daughter and her housemates had to do this time last year. All pretty normal as far as I could tell.

BubblesBuddy Sun 29-Oct-17 00:18:01

At least they are not paying rent from 1 July. This is pretty normal too in some university cities. A holding deposit that’s returnable sounds fair to me.

CatAfterCat Sun 29-Oct-17 11:50:07

Welcome to the world of student lets. I had never had any experience of renting before DC went to uni and it's been an eye opener.
After viewing dozens of houses only to find they had gone by the next day DDs group did this. The following year in a different uni it was the same for DS.
Reservation fees before viewing. Not refunded or deducted from deposits.
Huge deposits up to a year before the tenancy starts.
52 week lets starting in July when they are not moving in until September.
Deposits not returned until months after the tenancy ended.
And don't get me started on the filthy state of houses when we arrived

LIZS Sun 29-Oct-17 11:53:55

Apparently there may be further regulation coming in regarding rentals. Might be worth waiting until after the Winter Budget Statement to see if chargeable fees change.

Sunnyshores Sun 29-Oct-17 12:07:05

I dont see theres a problem in paying a refundable deposit to secure a property - all tenants do this. In some ways because its a year ahead theres even more reason to make sure the property is theirs. Im sure theyd be furious if the LL said next July theyd changed their minds and wouldnt let it to them. Well likewise ll needs certainty.

As for the £100 per tenant, again a fee payable now for referencing tht needs to be done now isnt unreasonable. It doesnt need to be more than £30 though. But yes its legit (and btw this isnt the lls fee or decision)

AgonyBeetle Sun 29-Oct-17 19:47:42

At least they are not paying rent from 1 July. This is pretty normal too in some university cities. A holding deposit that’s returnable sounds fair to me.

Sadly it turns out they are paying rent from 1st July. The £100 holding fee is not refundable, it's basically just the letting agency being chancers. It's a house for 8 people, so that's basically £800 just for doing their fecking job, over and above the fee they're charging the ll for actually letting and managing the place.

I've told dc to speak to the uni housing office and flag up that this is what's going on, as this agency is on their list of recommended letting agencies. It appears it is within the bounds of the law, though hardly good practice. But hey ho, the house does at least look warm and dry, which is more than could be said for the house dc1 lived in in 2nd year.

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