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Phoenix
29-05-2007, 12:47 PM
posting has been removed

jeffrey
29-05-2007, 13:33 PM
An agent of any kind is under a legal duty to disclose (to its principal) receipt of any secret commission. Failure is a civil wrong (tort) and potentially a criminal offence too.

Poppy35
29-05-2007, 16:18 PM
its not just Foxtons that do this, A local independant to me does this. We used the same heating engineer firm and they told us that XXx used to deduct 7.5% from the invoice when it was paid, when the company queried this XXX told them to add on 10% to the invoice to cover the costs but gas co refused and no longer deal with them.

also a very large corporate co "xxx is where your home is" do the same at 10%.

interesting point Jeffrey about civil wrong and possibly criminal too!!

tenant29
30-05-2007, 13:04 PM
An agent of any kind is under a legal duty to disclose (to its principal) receipt of any secret commission. Failure is a civil wrong (tort) and potentially a criminal offence too.

Jeffrey,

Under the terms of some residential leases, the leaseholders are required to pay the landlord for insuring the building and quite often the amounts demanded by the landlord's agent are inflated to 2-3 times the competitive market rate , even when the wording in the lease does not make any provision for the landlord to take commission.

Would this situation come under the category of "secret commission" and since the commission is not disclosed, are the landlord and its agent committing a "civil wrong" and a criminal offence ?

jeffrey
30-05-2007, 13:19 PM
Jeffrey,

Under the terms of some residential leases, the leaseholders are required to pay the landlord for insuring the building and quite often the amounts demanded by the landlord's agent are inflated to 2-3 times the competitive market rate , even when the wording in the lease does not make any provision for the landlord to take commission.

Would this situation come under the category of "secret commission" and since the commission is not disclosed, are the landlord and its agent committing a "civil wrong" and a criminal offence ?

Yes (x3). L can only recover outgoings, plus - if lease so states - a percentage uplift by way of commission. Other than that, all money paid by lessees contributing to service charge is beneficially theirs, held on trust. The same applies to undisclosed rebates (eg from insurer to L, as a backhander).

Paul_f
30-05-2007, 19:00 PM
If the tenancy is an AST it would also be a potential unfair term, but as most leases in London are exempt owing to the level of rent above £25,000 per annum then they are likely to get away with some of this. As Jeffrey said as an agent you are not allowed to make a secret profit. Why do Foxtons keep having adverse comment about them? (It's a rhetorical question by the way!)

tenant29
30-05-2007, 19:31 PM
Jeffrey,

Thanks for your reply . I believe that our block has had this problem ( i.e Landlord & its agent taking a big commission on the building insurance policy) as the building insurance has been more than double the market level.

Do you have any advice on how to claim back the overcharged building insurance premiums ? How does one act on the "criminal offence" which you have mentioned ? How can we charge the insurance company as the landlord is only insuring his building and entitle to ask for a discount ?

jeffrey
31-05-2007, 09:32 AM
Jeffrey,

Thanks for your reply . I believe that our block has had this problem ( i.e Landlord & its agent taking a big commission on the building insurance policy) as the building insurance has been more than double the market level.

Do you have any advice on how to claim back the overcharged building insurance premiums ? How does one act on the "criminal offence" which you have mentioned ? How can we charge the insurance company as the landlord is only insuring his building and entitle to ask for a discount ?

1. L is in the wrong; insurance company isn't.
2. Send solicitors' letter to L:
i. demanding a full account of all receipts and payments; and
ii. threatening proceedings unless all aspects resolved (and secret commission paid back) within one month.
3. Consider collective RTM (Right to Manage) application, taking-over control of admin. with a view to switching insurer.