AIBU to think I have been ripped off?
dimdarkashian · 10/12/2019 09:38
Letting agent has deducted a fee from my deposit for 'checking out'.
In the contract it mentions a fee will be deducted according to the Inventory Company's fees at the time. But they didn't use an Inventory Company.
Previously when this has happened at other properties a third party conducts the check out.
Where do I stand legally with this. Clearly they have deducted a fee for a fictitious company!!!
The property was left in pristine condition after living there for over 3.5 years and there was literally nothing they would have had to do to make it ready for the next tenants. Perhaps this isn't relevant but they are deducting costs when they don't have any!
I'm very frustrated about this.
BillHadersNewWife · 10/12/2019 09:44
According to this article, checking out fees are now banned!
Viewing fees, charges for inventory checks, “check-out” fees, and charges for professional cleaning at the end of the tenancy. Additionally, charging for a rent guarantor and fees for things such as gardening services, getting the chimney swept and having a property “de-flead” as a condition of allowing a pet in the property, will also be outlawed
CuriousaboutSamphire · 10/12/2019 09:45
The fee is the fee, whomever did the Check Out (I am one of those 3rd party people). Did you get a Check Out report?
There are many frustrating things in renting. I speak to irritated tenants all the time about things like being charged for damages and the landlord choosing to save the money instead of repairing or replacing the goods, or insisting on a proper end of tenancy clean and then sending builders in.
Legally you have paid a fee included in your contract.
The only way I can see that not being deemed fair is if there was no report produced.
BillHadersNewWife · 10/12/2019 09:46
Contact the letting agent and refer them to this...The Tenant Fees Act 2019 item no.21
TENANCY CHECK-OUT FEES
Q. Can I charge a tenant to check-out at the end of a tenancy?
No. You cannot charge a tenant for any services connected with the termination or
ending of a tenancy (unless this relates to early termination requested by the tenant).
However, if the tenancy was entered into before 1 June 2019 and a tenant agreed in
their contract to pay exit fees, such as check-out or inventory fees, you can charge
these fees up until 31 May 2020. From 1 June 2020, the term requiring that payment
will no longer be binding on the tenant.
You should consider whether it is necessary to charge in such instances. Where fees
are charged, businesses are prohibited from setting unfair terms or fees under
existing consumer protection legislation. You cannot require a tenant to pay any fees
not set out in their tenancy agreement or any agreement with an agent.
dimdarkashian · 10/12/2019 09:46
Thanks Bill. I think they probably used one when we moved in and had to pay them a fee. But have stopped using them since they aren't allowed to charge fees anymore. They are obviously holding us to the clause. But surely if they haven't incurred a cost they can't pass one to us?!
BillHadersNewWife · 10/12/2019 09:46
Link to the Tenant Fees Act 2019
CuriousaboutSamphire · 10/12/2019 09:51
Right! The agent is pefectly entitled do do any of the inventory, check in or check outs AND to charge for them, under the old regs. They can still charge landlords for them now!
If there was no check out report how did they/the landlord assess any damages, claclulate any monies owed by you? Or did they give you back all of your deposit?
It may be that the agent and landlord agreed, having viewed the property, that nothing was owed, but they could still charge you for that inspection!
dimdarkashian · 10/12/2019 09:53
Curious the clause states this...
To pay a Check-Out charge equal to that charged by the Inventory Company at the relevant time. It is the responsibility of the Tenant to pay the Check-Out charge and the Tenant hereby irrevocably agrees that this charge may be deducted from the Deposit if not paid when demanded at the end of the tenancy term.
wowfudge · 10/12/2019 09:54
Ask for a copy of the report and the invoice. That'll put the wind up them even if they don't back down. Contractually you have agreed to pay a fee, which they can lawfully charge you due to your tenancy start date. There's nothing to stop the agents stating they are the Inventory Company but if the fee is greater than their costs it isn't fair.
CuriousaboutSamphire · 10/12/2019 09:56
Sorry Bill that was a cross post, I took my time typing!
To pay a Check-Out charge equal to that charged by the Inventory Company at the relevant time. There it is!
Not sure that irrevocably bit would stand up to scrutiny though! But you doid agree to pay a fee equivalent to Inventory Compnay fee when you moed out. That is what they have billed you for!
That is a prime example of the reasons behind the tenant fee ban!
CuriousaboutSamphire · 10/12/2019 09:58
But they don't have to have an invoice. What you want is the price list or quote AT THE TIME... from the inventory company at the BEGINNING of your tenancy!
Having said that £88 is a good price for a Check Out. They haven't vastly inflated the fee.
CuriousaboutSamphire · 10/12/2019 10:01
Bolly it doesn't matter, or didn't. The equivalency was to show willing in not overcharging. The agent undertook only to charge the going rate!
thank god there is starting to be some rules on this shit, its outrageous! You're not kidding! The uplift some agents put on my fees is still outrageous!
hsegfiugseskufh · 10/12/2019 10:05
curious I see, that is quite unclear though isn't it, I suppose that's so they can get away with it! I worked in an estate agents for 8 weeks, I left because they were absolutely bastards, to their staff and to the tenants. I couldn't sleep at night!
They charged something like £60 per applicant for a credit check which cost the company something like a tenner a month in Experian membership and took literally 30 seconds on a computer. Ugh.
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