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View Full Version : When can agents charge fees for references?



sipos
02-12-2011, 10:32 AM
I saw this article (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-15826294) recently about agents illegally charging fees for things like credit and reference checks before starting a tenancy. Does anyone know when this is and isn't legal in England (I'm aware the law is different in Scotland so, what the article describes might not be illegal in England)?

My agents charged something like £150 admin fee for doing credit checks. I know it costs them nothing like this but, they wouldn't budge.

Paul_f
02-12-2011, 10:38 AM
AFAIK most agents charge an admin and/or processing charge for references which in England & Wales is acceptable. They do however have to be reasonable and an applicant can ask for a breakdown of an agent's charges for such.

sipos
03-12-2011, 03:04 AM
Thanks. I did ask them why it was so much at the time but, they didn't really give a satisfactory answer. I guess it's common and, there's not really anything I can do about it since they had other people looking round the flat (my flat mate already lived there, I was moving in) and they'd have probably let it to them if I caused too much trouble.

jjlandlord
03-12-2011, 07:22 AM
an applicant can ask for a breakdown of an agent's charges for such.

To paraphrase an old joke:
- actual work: £5
- knowing how to do it correctly: £145