Agency Fees

alexH on June 10, 2016, 02:02:30 PM

I'm about to move out of my place in Cambridge to move to London for work.  I haven't really had much of a problem with the old house but I'm being charged what I think is a stupid amount of money for check-out fees and references.  This is on top of the referencing checks at the new place with a different agency.  If I put together all of the fees for contract resigning and everythign its easily £500+.  Is there anything I can do not to pay the new charges or get my money back.  I know it isn't much money but its so expensive in london and I really feel like I'm being robbed here.

Simon88 on June 10, 2016, 09:44:22 PM
Hi All,

This is a bit of a joke really.  I got charged £200 for reference checks and the old letting agency charged me £50 for a reference.  When I added everything together it was easily over £1k when I add contract signing and check -in and check-out fees.  There are 3 of us sharing so the cost was split but it did take the mick.  We are interested in how we might try to get that money back, if somebody from the NRA is reading this please let me know.  If it isn't too much hassle it might be worth giving it a go. 

catulus on June 11, 2016, 04:45:30 PM
This happens all the time and it's like an extra tax on renting. Is there a catalog where you can search the city where you want to move to and the agencies operating there with their fees listed?  It would really help to compare the different agencies and hopefully drive the bad ones out. 

Xavi on June 11, 2016, 08:26:22 PM

I am a Spanish living in London for a year to improve my English and the agent is charging me for extra things and does nothing, is not scam? I do not know how the lease works sector in this country but many of my Spanish friends complain about corruption, what can we do? Many people say that if the contract is written that there is nothing that can be done. that happens a little in Spain also with mobile phone contracts but what happens in Spain has nothing to do with the scams you see here

Sonya86 on June 12, 2016, 11:44:43 AM
Hi All, 

In Scotland letting fees and resigning fees are illegal I believe.  I'm not sure about England. I know thought that there's a campaign group called Generation Rent which is trying to have them abolished. It seems like a fools errand because of the massively entrenched position of landlords and buy-to-let in England.

I will share this with you all though,  A few weeks ago I used the NRA to help me recoup money taken from my deposit last year when I moved out of the house I was staying in when I was finishing my PhD.  The old agency also tried adding extra money for reference checks whilst also keeping £800 for professional cleaning which they always do.  What was fun was the template the NRA sent me to get the agency to waive the referencing cost.  They asked for a subject access request which we put through for £10 and the agency backed down. 

Just wondering, has anybody else tried this and what successes/failures have you had?

alexH on June 12, 2016, 07:31:24 PM
Did anybody else see the report in the Telegraph today about the bad landlord's register?  It was hidden pretty far down in the investing segment, I'll have a look and post a link to the article.  Apparently a motion is being discussed in the House of Lords about a register of bad landlords and agency fees.  I think it was brought in by the Lib Dems.  How likely do you think it will be for this to actually come into effect? 

On a side note, does anybody know what would happen if I get a friend to write a reference for me saying that I shared a flat with him as a lodger instead of paying the agency?

Simon88 on June 16, 2016, 08:48:47 PM
I would, I know of a few other people who've done it. I'm not sure if the landlord can check property records or council tax to see whether you really live there?

john85_islington on July 06, 2016, 03:35:04 PM
Just be careful, if you get found out there might be problems later.

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