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scorchio75
27-03-2006, 15:49 PM
Good Afternoon All,

Great site, by the way!

I was wondering what you thought about my current situation? I have scoured/searched the archives as well as the current forums, but I can't find anything that answers the question I have -so apologies if I've missed a salient post...

Myself and a couple of friends rent a 3-bed house in South London (£1100pcm) via a well-known company with a penchant for garishly decorated Minis...ahem. We're all concerned with the amount (£380, inc. VAT) that we've just been charged to renew our AST for a further 12 months -a "Tenant Administration Fee"...Does this seem like a reasonable/usual amount for tenants to be charged?

Any advice would be gratefully received -and please let me know if you need any extra information!

Thanks in advance!

s75

toottoot
27-03-2006, 16:12 PM
After watching the BBC programme about estate agents, this does not surprise me, I had another 'reputable' agent wanting to charge me another £750 to renew and exisitng tennacy! I settled at £150 as I thought the top figure was outrageous and the same amount as I paid them to find me a good tennant in the first place.

scorchio75
27-03-2006, 16:18 PM
Hi TootToot,

Thanks for the response -although I may not have been clear...My friends and I are the tenants! (Although, if the landlord is being charged for administration fees, should the tenants be -or vice versa?)

Cheers,

s75

Ericthelobster
27-03-2006, 16:59 PM
Thanks for the response -although I may not have been clear...My friends and I are the tenants! (Although, if the landlord is being charged for administration fees, should the tenants be -or vice versa?Oh I think you can assume they'll also be getting their pound of flesh from the landlord as well.

It's a racket as far as I'm concerned; quite apart from the high cost of the fees there is actually no requirement to renew or re-issue a tenancy agreement - it's perfectly OK to leave it as is, and it then becomes by default a "periodic" tenancy - same T&C as the original agreement, except basically you need to give 1 months' notice to quit, and the LL needs to give you 2 months notice.

But no doubt the agents will have it written into their contract with the LL that a new agreement must be issued every X months.

Anyway, yes it sounds a lot of money earned for pressing the 'Print' button, especially if the LL is paying too!

scorchio75
27-03-2006, 17:21 PM
Thanks Ericthelobster, (gotta love those forum names!)

I suppose my question now is whether to contact the LL and lead a two-pronged attack on the agent, or whether to contact the agent directly and request clarification on the costs and a potential part-refund, as we've already paid the admin fee?

Thanks again for the responses!

s75

MrWoof
27-03-2006, 17:58 PM
Having also seen the TV program on this agent, I'd say you've got a snowball's chance in hell of getting any concessions out of them. Try the LL direct, maybe he/she saw the prog too but I'd be willing to bet they've got him well stitched up with fees and delays if he tries to sack them. There is an argument for renewing a tenancy agreement although I personally do not agree with it but from talking to friends who have this arrangement, the highest fee any of them pay is £75 and that is just 1 mile north of the M25, very much commuter belt.

justaboutsane
27-03-2006, 18:49 PM
Its daylight robbery as far as I am concerned! I had an agent try and charge me £45 to renew an AST 3 years ago! ... I told the LL and the agent that I was well within my rights to not sign, the LL was happy but the agent was not... I refused to sign so he did it for free! .. What can the agent do to you? His agreement is with the LL not you and if he tries to evict you the LL will not be happy!

Read all ASTs and if the clause is in then request it be removed.

Good luck in getting your money back... but I wont hold my breath... by the way... has anyone got a tape or DVD of that programme... I was at choir and missed it!... scrap that request I just found it on teleport replay :D I soo love that function!

pms
27-03-2006, 20:02 PM
[QUOTE=justaboutsane]Its daylight robbery as far as I am concerned!

That is exactly what it is. I'd like to know how it is justified.Perhaps there's some agent out there who can explain and justify these costs.

I await with baited breath!!

scorchio75
27-03-2006, 21:48 PM
Thanks for the responses -I think that I'll see how things go with the Mini-driving Mafia and wait until next year to see if they try to hit us with another exorbitant admin fee...

They're surprisingly off the ball, however -especially considering the size/reputation of the company. They've never supplied us with an inventory to sign, and our rent hasn't gone up...which is quite a surprise! (Although I'm sure that there are going to be problems when we come to move out...)

pms
28-03-2006, 12:37 PM
[QUOTE=Wickerman]Just refuse to pay - what can they do?? serve notice on you? It is not their call and and if the LL finds out that he is going to lose xx months rental income due to a forced void period because the agent wants an extra pound of flesh he/she may hit the roof.

Doe's anyone know if the OFT have been involved in what is an outragous situation.A friend of mine has just coughed up a fee of £400.00 for a credit check and the tenancy agreement and this is from another"so called reputable high street agent".Landlords is this justifable to expect the tenant to pay for the credit checks and tenancy agreement.It seems that both landlords and tenants are getting ripped off by these people.

shhhh
28-03-2006, 16:57 PM
Hello,
We also had our (well known national) agency trying to charge us £50 to renew the contract, we just asked to go to a periodic tenancy & they were fine with that (of course didn't mention that option until asked).

I also asked them what the fee was for, & all they could come up with was postage, printing & solicitor's fees. I tried to ask what the solicitors actually did as the contract would be exactly the same as the one it replaced, and the same again the next year, but they were having none of it & the whole office got involved. I had them all nodding sagely at the thought of teams of solicitors all independently drawing up identical, totally routine contracts...

MrWoof
28-03-2006, 19:09 PM
Doe's anyone know if the OFT have been involved in what is an outragous situation.A friend of mine has just coughed up a fee of £400.00 for a credit check and the tenancy agreement and this is from another"so called reputable high street agent".Landlords is this justifable to expect the tenant to pay for the credit checks and tenancy agreement.It seems that both landlords and tenants are getting ripped off by these people.Nothing to do with the OFT, caveat emptor, if they want to charge rip off prices and some mug is willing to pay, end of story. As for the tenant paying for credit checks, yes, why not, I don't charge it but others do, after all £9.00 is £9.00:) . As for the tenancy agreement, it does take time to change name and address details but this is so little that I feel it should be included in the tenant finding service cost to the landlord.

pms
29-03-2006, 20:44 PM
Nothing to do with the OFT, caveat emptor, if they want to charge rip off prices and some mug is willing to pay, end of story. As for the tenant paying for credit checks, yes, why not, I don't charge it but others do, after all £9.00 is £9.00:) . As for the tenancy agreement, it does take time to change name and address details but this is so little that I feel it should be included in the tenant finding service cost to the landlord.

Totally disagree!! The OFT should get involved or trading standards.

mjpl
30-03-2006, 14:13 PM
On the basis that you have no contract with your agent there is little they can do to force you to pay the renewal. However, it may feature in your tenancy agreement in which case try and get in touch with your Landlord to say that you will not renew if you have to pay a ridiculously high fee. The agreement is between you and your landlord not the agent.

In terms of charging £50 for a renewal, I think that is quite reasonable (for the renewal, not per tenant obviously). This is a fair amount to charge for the amount of work that goes into agreeing a renewal, sending out contracts and replacing the standing orders if necessary.

As someone has pointed out there is no legal need for a renewal contract. This is absolutely the case but often Landlords and tenants want some security of tenure and like to sign for a fixed period. In these cases I do not feel a nominal charge to be unfair. However, the charges that have been mentioned so far are outrageous and I would absolutely not pay.

Worldlife
30-03-2006, 14:34 PM
Totally disagree!! The OFT should get involved or trading standards.

Do you mean that the OFT or Trading Standards are legally required to be involved? If so which authority should it be?

Agree they should be involved if their is an unfair trading situation that can be acted or their remit should be extended to cover grossly unfair and unreasonable business practices.

shhhh
30-03-2006, 15:04 PM
In terms of charging £50 for a renewal, I think that is quite reasonable (for the renewal, not per tenant obviously). This is a fair amount to charge for the amount of work that goes into agreeing a renewal, sending out contracts and replacing the standing orders if necessary.

Hello,
Sorry, but I think £50 is quite a lot (esepcially up here in Manchester where this is normally done for free or tenancies are continued as periodic) for:
- Writing to us to ask if we would like to renew the contract on exactly the same terms as before
- changing the dates on the previously prepared contract
- emailing me the contract (as the agency did for our initial contract)
- Me printing it, signing it & returning it to the agency
- Possibly giving me a piece of paper with bank account details on for me to change any standing orders (this is what they did initially)

Although before I start ranting too much of course there are good letting agencies out there which provide a good service to both landlord (e.g. finding decent tenants, giving good advice & managing the property efficiently) and tenant (e.g. easily contactable, experienced professional approach, quick repairs through having regular repair people & bulk contracts). It's just when you don't get this service that it rankles having to pay for it. Possibly because they're trying to get maximum profit out of minimum effort so cut corners & employ people who don't have any knowledge or interest in the area. And in my experience there are far too many like this about. Also in my particular case I think they are using this as a moneyspinner because they wrote us a very heavy handed letter not even telling us about the alternative of a periodic tenancy (until I went in & asked), & were unable to clearly explain the difference.

Sorry rant over.

pms
30-03-2006, 21:16 PM
Do you mean that the OFT or Trading Standards are legally required to be involved? If so which authority should it be?

Agree they should be involved if their is an unfair trading situation that can be acted or their remit should be extended to cover grossly unfair and unreasonable business practices.

Well let's face it this is sharking in the extreme of the word.The landlord get's ripped off by the fee his paying and the tenant gets ripped off for a so called "tenancy fee" that they can't justify.The practice should be investigated by the authorities in order to protect landlords and tenants

pms
30-03-2006, 21:22 PM
In terms of charging £50 for a renewal, I think that is quite reasonable (for the renewal, not per tenant obviously). This is a fair amount to charge for the amount of work that goes into agreeing a renewal, sending out contracts and replacing the

OK then justify it.If you think that £50 is justifiable to make a few photocopies then my friend you are on another planet.Give me a breakdown of the cost's then I'll tell you if your arguement is valid

Worldlife
31-03-2006, 03:05 AM
OK then justify it.If you think that £50 is justifiable to make a few photocopies then my friend you are on another planet.Give me a breakdown of the cost's then I'll tell you if your arguement is valid

Are you really suggesting that all that is needed for a tenancy renewal is for a few photocopies to be made? That seems to be an extremist rather than a professional judgement!!!

Even if pro-forma forms are used someone with a degree of responsibility will need to ensure that the correct data is entered and all the required documents are posted to the correct addresses.

If a professional organisation is involved what hourly rate and what time allocation should in your eyes be allowed for this task? How would that compare with fees charged by other professionals for quite simple tasks?

shhhh
31-03-2006, 08:14 AM
In my organisation this type of task could quite easily be done by a secretary.

davidjohnbutton
31-03-2006, 09:26 AM
and you pay the secretary - yes - so, why should you not cover her wages by making a charge to the tenant for the time it takes her to do the work?

shhhh
31-03-2006, 10:51 AM
Sorry I did not mean to start some huge debate on finding a definative charge for a renewal of contract. As this obviously depends on many factors such as the amount of work involved, what the market can hold, cost of overheads in a particular area etc etc etc. I still think my agency charged too much for it, at least relative to the local market, which is why I made an informed decision not to pay it. Moreover I think they were wrong not to tell tenants that there was a free option (ie periodic tenancy) as there will be people with less money & less ability to discover this option than myself who will suffer by this. You may beg to differ & feel that this is a fair amout to charge, fine. But I don't think we will achieve much by going into this matter a great deal further.

This all started off with a figure that was VASTLY excessive. Shall we return to that?

Cheers.

shhhh
31-03-2006, 11:00 AM
PS So you can see where I am coming from, the standard agency fee (at the start of a tenancy) in my area is £50. This obviously involves a lot more work!

Worldlife
31-03-2006, 13:23 PM
My garage employs low wage employees for basic vehicle service work but charges the fees for a fully qualified mechanic!!

Guess if you employ a secretary you can on this principle charge more than the secretary's actual labour costs!

Mogs
31-03-2006, 14:09 PM
Well, finally I think you will find that we smaller agencies, either one man-band or with very few staff, do not charge excessive fees. So although we are either too new or do not fill the criteria for the associations, we are normally very fair to our clients. I do not charge more than £25 for a renewal, although I do agree with periodic, I will do this if it is requested but otherwise if I can charge it I will. I do not feel this is ripping of a client. The smaller agencies are more aware of good client relations as we have to work hard to encourage people to try new, rather than the more established - more expensive agencies.

pms
31-03-2006, 14:53 PM
Are you really suggesting that all that is needed for a tenancy renewal is for a few photocopies to be made? That seems to be an extremist rather than a professional judgement!!!

If a professional organisation is involved what hourly rate and what time allocation should in your eyes be allowed for this task? How would that compare with fees charged by other professionals for quite simple tasks?

There's nothing extremist about it if anything your the one being extremist.All I have said is justify the costs.It seems to me that nobody can justify their costs.I went down the High Street at lunchtime and just quried the cost of their" tenancy fee" at a few agents.These ranged from £125- £400 an when asked how they justify it they couldn't or wouldn't answer.Considering that they've most proberly added that onto the Landlords fees as well from where I'm standing it looks as if landlords and tenants are being ripped off.

Jennifer_M
31-03-2006, 15:34 PM
Well if you count:
- 5 minutes to call landlord and ask for his decision (periodic or new agreement)
- 2 minutes for agent to ask secretary to draw up the agreement
- 5 minutes for agent to check the agreement when all done by secretary
- 2 minutes to check agreement when it comes back signed

Total agent time = 14 minutes

- 2 minutes to find the file on the computer
- 5 minutes to type the names of tenants, landlord and property address
- 10 minutes to read the agreement over to check if everything is ok
- 1 second to press print
- 2 minutes to staple the agreement and put it into an enveloppe
- 2 minutes to hand write the enveloppe and stick a stamp
- 5 minutes to go to the post box and post it
- 3 seconds to open enveloppe when agreement sent back
- 10 seconds to give agreement to agent

Total admin = 26 minutes 14 seconds

I think I'm being pretty fair here. Most agents to draw up a new personnalised agreement when renewing.
So agents are charging approx £187.50 - £600 per hour according to PMS price check.

I'm currently thinking about changing job...

pms
31-03-2006, 15:44 PM
I think I'm being pretty fair here. Most agents to draw up a new personnalised agreement when renewing.
So agents are charging approx £187.50 - £600 per hour according to PMS price check.

I'm currently thinking about changing job...[/QUOTE]

I think your being very fair there Jennifer but that was the price range that I was given and two of the agents I went to had something to do with trees.

And I agree with you on the breakdown of the cost's and time but would you not agree that on your calculations that the price's are a little inflated.

Jennifer_M
31-03-2006, 16:07 PM
I think your being very fair there Jennifer but that was the price range that I was given and two of the agents I went to had something to do with trees.

And I agree with you on the breakdown of the cost's and time but would you not agree that on your calculations that the price's are a little inflated.

They certainly are inflated ! I'm not an agent so maybe I've forgotten an important part of drawing up a new agreement but still...

That's why I'm considering chaging job ;)

Ericthelobster
31-03-2006, 17:31 PM
But this whole issue comes back to market forces again, doesn't it - exactly as for another thread where rent prices were being discussed.

Surely the point is simply that if agents charge stupid prices they aren't going to attract business - certainly not repeat business, anyway.

I write as a landlord who has successfully been finding his own tenants and managing his own properties ever since letting out my first house, which was done via an agent. I now don't go near agents, primarily because of the cost of doing so. Maybe there's a message here?!

Jonboy
31-03-2006, 17:55 PM
firstly forgive me as i have not read all 4 pages of this discussion, it is friday after all.

but as an agent who has gone from being a one man band with very low fees to having 6 staff and 2 offices i feel i have to comment.

personally i try to be as fair as possible with landlords wishing to resign tenants as i have always tried to be fair with all my prices and used to be very low cost compared to my competitors (we are still very competetive just not half the price anymore!). the problem i face now is that as a business grows costs tend to spiral in an exponential way, suddenly we have management tasks and other expenses we never used to have!

i am particularily refering to the time/motion analysis on the last page, you seem to have forgotten a few things in your assesment, namely the ten minutes late the employee was in this morning that has to be paid for, the extra time it to the manager to bollock said employee, the extra ten minutes it took to make a note of the lateness to be brought up, and, the the extra ten minutes it took to bring up the issue in the next one to bloody one you have to have with them! the extra ten minutes it took because the first 4 times you phone the landlord they did not answer their phone, the ten minutes it took have a fag with someone in the office and ask them to remind you that you still need to phone that person, and the extra ten mintues it took to get the timewasting saleman out of the office so you could make the last call. i'll give you back the 5 minutes for walking to the post box because we now have our mail collected.

thank you, rant over

as it goes we give the landlord the option to sign the tenant themselves or we do it for a nominal charge of £20 per person on the ast i can't be fairer than that!

the problem here is not rip off agents but rip off britain where every fart is taxed to the hilt unless you can afford a bloddy tax specialist to provide you with a loophole showing that actually it was a loss making fart that was completely tax deductable, excuse the loophole pun.

Ruth Less
31-03-2006, 20:23 PM
I have been a tenant with two agencies recently. The first charges (I think) 40 quid but as they didn't tell me that up front I asked them to waive the fee and they did. The current agency told me up front that they don't charge the tenant for renewals. I have no idea what either of them charge the landlord. Either way I don't think the landlord or tenant gets much of a service out of them.

Organising repairs is like playing Chinese whispers and only got done when after weeks of waiting I gave the agency owners an earful.

This current agency didn't even bother to draw up an inventory, they gave me the six month old one from the start of the previous tenancy when the property was brand new. There were many discrepancies, such as mirrors and shelves not on the inventory, and the scrapes made by the old tenant on moving furniture out missing.

Oh and the property hadn't been snagged after about nine months so we did that for them, pointing out guttering not connected to down pipes etc. So I think this current agent is ripping the landlord off but they are not aware of it and if they can't even snag their own property they probably don't even care.

P.Pilcher
31-03-2006, 21:55 PM
Hmmm..... if Johnboy cannot give a better service and better value for money to his clients now he has two offices and six staff than he did when he was a one man band, then I suggest he goes back to being a one man band! It is sometimes the case when a business starts to expand, the returns that the proprietor makes start to fall. If Johnboy cannot see the wood from the trees in this respect, higher returns for him for less effort than he is getting at the moment, then I would venture to suggest he re-think his business plan.
As I have posted before I use two well established independent estate agents in the areas I own my rental properties. They rip off neither me or my tenants but charge a fair fee for the services they provide. Their ongoing advice is invaluable. Although we read the moand and groans about poor agents, poor landlords and of course poor tenants on this board, there are good agents out there who do a good job.

P.P.

Ruth Less
31-03-2006, 22:20 PM
As I have posted before I use two well established independent estate agents in the areas I own my rental properties. They rip off neither me or my tenants but charge a fair fee for the services they provide.


Are you going to let us know the fees, seeing as that's the thread subject. I'd be curious to know what fair fees for both landlord and tenant are...

pms
31-03-2006, 23:56 PM
I write as a landlord who has successfully been finding his own tenants and managing his own properties ever since letting out my first house, which was done via an agent. I now don't go near agents, primarily because of the cost of doing so. Maybe there's a message here?!

Ericthelobster: There is a message there. it's Ericthelobster.Who has valadated a very good point.Eric I give you respect you have followed a more proactive approach and obviously if you can do it then all landlords could do it.Just cut out the "middle man".Obviously that is not going to be "popular" and no doubt PMS will be critizied for some of his views.:confused: Letting agents you've shot yourself in the foot because Eric has proved that he doesn't need agents to run his properties and I think many people are getting wise to having to pay "high and cointinuous fee's" both ways Landlord and Tenant.:p

Jonboy
01-04-2006, 07:30 AM
cannot give a better service and better value for money to his clients now he has two offices and six staff
i never said we don not give better service, in fact the service that we provide now has never been better, that was not my point at all. my point was that the costs of running a larger operation are not always seen by people who just think they should get everything for nothing. for clarity, we do not harge the tenants anything, and the landlord is only charged if they want us to do the work for them


higher returns for him for less effort than he is getting at the moment, then I would venture to suggest he re-think his business plan how on earth can you think that going back to being a one man band is less effort?

P.P. , i have had a lot of time for the comments that you post on this forum, but in this respect you are way off the mark and making huge assumptions from a slightly tounge in cheek posts made only to highlight a few things about the costs of running a business that people forget.

P.Pilcher
01-04-2006, 14:45 PM
Ruth: Find a tenant service including all advertising, viewing, tenant interviewing, credit checking and reference taking: £200 (no VAT). (Tenant pays £50)

Johnboy: My point is that I know that everything costs, but why do you find it more costly to provide your services as a two office six staff team than it did when you were on your own? Why should I as a customer use your services when I can get just as good service from a cheaper one man band therefore?
I appreciate that I am being simplistic in the extreme, nevertheless it is important to remember that people in your position are sometimes so wound up in their day to day affairs that they are finding it difficult to see the wood from the trees.

P.P.

Ericthelobster
01-04-2006, 16:09 PM
My point is that I know that everything costs, but why do you find it more costly to provide your services as a two office six staff team than it did when you were on your own? Why should I as a customer use your services when I can get just as good service from a cheaper one man band therefore?Well, I used to work in a service industry - not property related at all - and I worked for an agency providing services to industry where we would be competing against one-man bands. The small outfits with zero overheads could easily outcompete the big boys on cost alone, but the company I worked for would win plenty of contracts on the strength of the depth and breadth of their service - eg, they avoid the risk of someone (the only employee!) being off sick; there are other people in the organization with different experience; being larger they build up a reputation within the industry as being good performers, etc. I'm not saying all this applies to something like a lettings agency, but a lot of the principles apply.

And what's the benefit to the owner of the one-man band expanding? Well, in my former employer's case, he built up the company from two-three people to a couple of hundred over about 10 years, and then sold it, allegedly for many millions.

Jennifer_M
01-04-2006, 17:42 PM
you seem to have forgotten a few things in your assesment, namely the ten minutes late the employee was in this morning that has to be paid for ... because we now have our mail collected.

Well Jonboy, I'm sorry but that's a management problem.
25 minutes to tell off an employee for being 10 minutes late ?
Also you charge your tenants because you have 10 minutes fags ??
10 minutes for 4 phones calls no one answered ?

Bear in mind landlords get charged too for the work you do so there more money being charged than the £187.50 - £600 per hour the tenant alone has to pay.

Don't get me wrong I don't think a service should be free as agents are businesses and obviously need to pay the wages but the charges we're talking about are outrageous.
And here the problem is tenants are only hit by the prices when they're already living in the property. It's quite clever actually because agents know that a tenant will probably pay up rather than face another costly move. And they don't care much if the tenant is unhappy because if the tenant leaves it doesn't cost them the business, they find another tenant who doesn't know about the charge.

mjpl
01-04-2006, 19:55 PM
Well if you count:
- 5 minutes to call landlord and ask for his decision (periodic or new agreement)
- 2 minutes for agent to ask secretary to draw up the agreement
- 5 minutes for agent to check the agreement when all done by secretary
- 2 minutes to check agreement when it comes back signed

Total agent time = 14 minutes

No wonder you all complain about agents fees if this is your simplistic idea of a renewal. The approach above might befit a cowboy operation but bears no resemblance to my company. For example:

1. Three months prior to termination date letters sent to Landlord to ask if they wish to renew.

2. Letter sent to tenant to ask for their intentions.

3. Neither party respond.

4. Tenant called. They would like to renew for six months. We ask for confirmation in writing. Tenant agrees.

5. Landlord called and states that he only wants a three month renewal. Puts this in writing.

6. Tenant called and does not want to renew for only three months.

7. Call Landlord who requests that the tenancy be terminated.

8. Section 21 notice issued in accordance with Landlord requirements.

9. End of tenancy letter sent to advise tenants of procedure.

10. Check out clerk booked.

11. Landlord calls to state that he may consider a six month tenant if the tenants pay extra rent.

12. Question put to tenant who agrees. We request confirmation in writing.

13. Tenant confirmation arrives along with Landlords.

14. MOA drawn up to reflect the change in rent, term as well as any other issues agreed and sent out.

15. Check-out appointment cancelled.

16. Landlord MOA received.

17. Reminder call to tenant for MOA.

18. Reminder Letter (1) to tenant for MOA.

19. Reminder Letter (2) to tenant for MOA.

20. MOA received and both documents executed.

21. Copies sent out to both parties.


This is a very typical renewal. The assumption that all tenants and landlords immediately respond to agents efforts is laughable. You also have to bear in mind that for every three tenancies that renew, one will not. Yet we have to do almost as much work and receive no payment.

Again, I feel that £50 is not an unreasonable figure although I have set my companies charges at £35.00.

Jonboy
01-04-2006, 23:37 PM
thank you mjpl, great isn't it! all those people without a business knowing so much about how much work actually goes into running one!

precisely because we do provide more than " just as good service " is why it is now so much more expensive, i know from what clients tell me that our service is getting better all the time, we work bloody hard to do that! i am aiming to provide a better service to compete with cheap 'one man bands' and as it goes and i said it before i don't charge tenants to renew! only a small fee to the landlord if they choose to get us to renew, they can do it themselves for free.

as for wood and trees, i know which i would like to walk to you into and which i would like to tie you to. burk.... or should that be bark lol :p

oh and jenifer, take a pill honey, it was a lighthearted remark at the fact that the previous posts to mine which made light of the amount of work that was involved, as mjpl has probably more professionally explained above

....did i mention the extra 4 days it took to go to court for light hearted sexist remarks that an employee wanted to go to tribunal for. lol

P.Pilcher
01-04-2006, 23:39 PM
If you have to do that much work to renew a tenancy every six months then I agree, £50 is not unreasonable, however there are a lot of agents out there who do much less yet demand the same or more. I must admit that I manage my own properties and only use agents to find me tenants. I never bother to renew, so there is no work involved. When the tenancy starts I inform the tenant that their agreement will continue after the fixed period under a statutory periodic form and precisely what this means with regards to serving notice and rent reviews. Thus no hassle. I also hold my own deposits (in a separate, interest bearing, account) but probably will no longer be able to do this after October.

P.P.

Jennifer_M
03-04-2006, 09:07 AM
Jonboy and mjpl I'll say it again, we are talking about agents who charge between £125 and £400 per renewal.

I never said that £35/50 is outrageous. I actually said that I know that a service can't be for free but even it takes twice the time I calculated to renew an agreement some agents would be charging between £93 and £300 per hour. Just tell me do you think that's reasonable ?

PS: Jonboy, I actually run my own business, I provide as good as service can be (I believe) but I wouldn't dream of charging that kind of rates.

davidjohnbutton
03-04-2006, 09:46 AM
There is an old saying in the motor mechanics world. "Your bill is £50 - the repair cost £1 and it was £49 for knowing how to do the repair"

By the same theory, you are paying a charge for the learning, skill and liability that goes into the paperwork - not just the bit of paper which is worth 1p and the ink on it another 1p. Of course, some charges are more reasonable than others, same as some solicitors charge more than others - its a question of market forces as usual.

I have known a solicitor charge nearly £500 for attending a court for a 5minute hearing which was the day after a bank holiday when the courts were open but this solicitor usually wasn't - so the bill was the usual extortionate one then trebled and 50% added on for care and conduct and then mileage and car park charge and then VAT! Costs were awarded against the other party at the usual rate which ended up at about £50 or so. I was indeed successful at getting this reduced to £250 under threat of having the bill taxed for the litigant who was my uncle and who these solicitors clearly saw as an easy cash cow!
It is easy when solicitors get away with these charges to jump on the bandwagon on see if you also can get away with it which is why we are seeing these extortionate charges arise.

scorchio75
23-04-2006, 18:16 PM
Hello all,

Firstly I'd like to apologise for not reposting sooner, but I thought that you may like to know that my Mini-driving tormentors backed down very quickly when quizzed about the exhorbitant tenant admin fee that I originally posted about.

The end result was a massive refund (£300-odd!), reducing the admin fee to a much more reasonable £60+VAT.

Thanks again for all of your advice, rants (!) and opinions -they formed the crux of my argument with the agents...and it seems that good sense won out in the end!

Cheers,

s75

MrWoof
23-04-2006, 21:13 PM
Congratulations on the refund, I'm not the only one who thought you'd never get it out of them. As for agent fees, most of the time the agent does little work in managing a given property, you are paying for knowledge. My own feeling is that if it is normal practice for the agent to make out new agreements for existing tenants, the cost should come out of the fees already being charged