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Lettings Admin and Holding Deposit Fees

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
I was just about to view a property and enquired about a particular letting agents fees. To confirm that I wanted the property I would have to pay £195 admin fee and a holding deposit of £825. So before my credit checks, contract was drawn up etcthe estate agent wanted me to pay £1020 on a rental property of £750.

Now with my previous letting agents I only paid £135 upfront for credit checks etc. and then the tenancy deposit and 1st months rent a couple of days before moving in.

I let them know that previously I've never paid my entire deposit upfront and my response back was

"Usual procedure is to pay the Holding Deposit and admin up front, property is then held for you subject to the usual checks etc re application, until these are paid the property continues to be marketed. If for any reason the application is not sanctioned (approved), then you will lose your admin fee. Following sanction if for any reason you do not complete on the due check in date (very rare) then you would lose all your admin fee and half your Holding Deposit. The Holding Deposit on the day you move in becomes the Damage Deposit and is duly registered with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme and you receive a certificate of registration.

Please let the office know if you wish to still view"

Does the above sound confusing, misleading or am I just out of touch, should we all now be paying over £1000 before we even sign the contract.

Any help much appreciated.

Sandra

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I've always had to pay the deposit upfront. It's not that often you get to pay in instalments.

    Agents are horrible! They take money from you for very little (a credit check costs £30 and calling to check references will take under an hour of their time) but it seems to be very very common with agents these day to charge astronomic fees
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Shop around as not all agencies charge the same. To get the best deal you have to be flexible and not latch on to a 'dream place'.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Totally right ShyBoy as thats what I'm having to do, pretty much all the other agents fees are around £200 with no holding fees, so just have to write them off and any properties they have. Just seems such a shame as they have some really great ones.

    Thanks
  • Danny!Danny! mod Posts: 560 The answer to life, the universe, and everything
    You can find places without agents on sites like Gumtree - and avoid the fees altogether.

    It's also worth trying to negotiate the fees down. This doesn't always work, but - as Miss_Riot says - they're not really doing anything for that money, so there can be space for bargaining there.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The holding deposit becomes the damage deposit, and £825 for that doesn't sound too excessive. Most places in London charge the equivalent of six weeks' rent as a damage deposit. You'd be expected to find the deposit and the first month's rent before you move in.

    The agents fees are a bit harder to deal with. They're just something they make up as a fee and, like all fees, can be negotiated downwards. But it depends on the market in your area. Most agents seem to charge the same in a given area- in the north east their admin fees are typically 50% of a month's rent. They all charge the same, not that letting fees operate a cartel, perish the thought. If the rental market is weak then you can negotiate more on the fees. Unfortunately, most rental markets are strong at the moment, so fees negotiation is a lot harder to achieve. It is disgusting the fees they charge, given a check with a credit reference agency costs around £25+VAT, but they charge them because the market doesn't allow the consumer to vote with their feet.

    In short, when I am malevolent dictator of the world, letting agents will be going bollocks-first into a bacon slicer.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey arctic I found variance in fees from £0 to 75% of a months rent (£400) in cheltenham so I mean there is some variance. In the end we got the property we wanted and the fees were £150 I think.
  • JsTJsT TheSite Graduate Posts: 18,265 Incredible Poster
    In short, when I am malevolent dictator of the world, letting agents will be going bollocks-first into a bacon slicer.

    Amen to that.
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