“These robbing estate agents are still charging tenant fees!”

Dropping into EYE’s inbox yesterday morning came an email that was positively steaming with fury.

Accompanied by a screenshot from a current listing on Rightmove, the sender raged: “Thought you might be interested to see these robbing estate agents are still charging tenant fees! Absolutely disgusting!”

Given that it appeared the agent was charging a non-refundable £200 ‘intial fee’ for up to two tenants and another £100 for additional ones, and a £60 charge for using a guarantor, we were minded to agree.

So EYE contacted the agent to ask them how they could reconcile the charges with the provisions of the legislation that bans most tenant fees.

The response from the firm (an apparently reputable business) is a timely reminder to all agents that they always need to be rigorous in checking what is being published in their details and to be extra vigilant if returning an old instruction to the market. A slip up, however unintentional, could lead to unwelcome consequences.

“Thank you for bringing this to my attention, we take great pride in making sure that our adverts are accurate, unfortunately on this occasion the property was pushed live without being checked, the last time this property was advertised was before the “tenant fee ban”.

“I can confirm that I’ve updated the marketing and removed the section in question and also can confirm that the property has been offered to a prospective tenant this morning without any mention to the successful applicant of fees.

“I can only apologise for the oversight in this matter and confirm it was an administrative error only. Once again thank you for bringing this matter to my attention it is greatly appreciated. Please see updated screen shot from rightmove confirming it has been removed.”

And it had.

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28 Comments

  1. AlwaysAnAgent

    The complaint was made by Mr. A. Snowflake after recently leaving university with a large student debt. Mr Snowflake couldn’t afford these fees, the rent or even the bus fare home, however he was able to contact PIE on his iPhone 12 to express his “disgust”. Poor little chap.

     

    His parents were forced to step in and increase his monthly allowance to £3000 per month to keep little their little snowflake in the lifestyle he has become accustomed to.

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    1. Rent Rebel

      Why do you miss the point so wildly?  You seem so full of hate that you’re struggling to contain yourself here. You’re bursting with contempt.

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      1. AlwaysAnAgent

        Are you an anti landlord, anti-agent, left leaning snowflake supporter?

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        1. Rent Rebel

          Are you “a professional”? 

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          1. AlwaysAnAgent

            I’ll take that as a yes. 

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            1. AcornsRNuts

              He/she/they/it are all three. Typically contributing nothing except vitriol.

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    2. Robert_May

      or they are a teacher, nurse  junior doctor with their first job and have taken a job  in  a city where private sector wages mean finding a stable long term home near to work is difficult.

       

      The tenant fee ban was and is a nonsense; it only reduces the cost of moving into a home for those most able to afford the fees in the first place. It doesn’t and won’t ever  help those manual, menial or entry point public sector workers who have jobs that make commuting a challenge.

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      1. A W

        The tenant fee ban had a place dont get me wrong, it was actually necessary due to some agents charging tenants extorionate fees. HOWEVER it should have limited fee’s, not banned them outright (with the exception of a few permitted exceptions).

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    3. Russell121

      Couldn’t have put it better myself. Maybe they could have asked the agent first to see if it was a genuine mistake, but oh no, not with todays ‘” I want my 5 seconds of fame” and blame society.

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    4. KByfield04

      Whilst a call to the agent would have clarified this- the fact is it appeared a direct breach of regulations. We all know there are agents who have chanced the regulations charging fees although they are now banned- and we also all know why this ban was introduced in the first place. Surely the Tenants age and income are irrelevant- they thought an agent was blatantly breaching the law. I also don’t know many people who are famous (no matter how long for) who doesn’t want their name known 😉

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      1. AlwaysAnAgent

        It’s a fair point K, but would it not have been better and more civilised for the complainant to inform the agent, by sending a brief email or even a call to the office? The complainant went out of their way to hurt the agent by contacting a journalist. It seems like a low blow to me, below the belt and unnecessary.

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        1. KByfield04

          Agreed- but it is also PIE’s choice to publish this article- and to give it a title that instantly infuriates agents. Just saying.

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    5. FudgeNugget

      Hmmmmmmmm. Boomer much, of the gammony variety? What a completely un-necessary and childish response. No wonder the general public still hate agents with dinosaurs like you still in the industry.

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  2. DASH94

    We’ve been caught on this with rental listings saying ‘refurbed and freshly painted’  or similar.  That was 3 tenants ago! 🙂

     

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    1. Property Poke In The Eye

      Lol – same here

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    2. CountryLass

      I think we all have! The ones I like are the ones advertising the open day for a property that will “go fast!” and the open day was over 4 weeks prior… A place I used to work for had someone who dealt with repossessions get a property added to the system to do all the reports, and the pictures he took were not checked before we put it live… Emblazoned across a board in the kitchen was a hand-painted note calling the then Prime Minister a …. how best to describe it? A man with a close relationship with his hand… Took a week before anyone brought it to my attention!

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  3. A W

    An administrative error which was quickly rectified once noted… MY GOD What a robbing Letting [not estate] Agent! How dare they be human and occasionally miss something!

     

    How on earth is this nonsense a story?!

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    1. Titus Aduxass

      I think it might be a story because it is a reminder to us all to be careful how we check things?

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      1. A W

        You saw from the article that the agent in question thanked whomever highlighted the error and apologised for the oversight. It was not an agent trying to “rob” someone, but merely an administrative error.

         

        Yes be careful with your listings, however a minor mistake making it on here as “news” is ridiculous.

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  4. Anthony Hesse

    Nothing to see here … move along 😉

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  5. Gloslet

    I may be wrong, but my understanding is that the agent /landlord publishing incorrect information about prohibited fees is not in contravention of the Tenants Fees regulations until such time as they collect said prohibited fee(s).

    But I agree with others here, it would be interesting to hear if said snowflake had flagged this with the agent before broadcasting to the industry press and presumably social media, about what was quite possibly a simple admin oversight by the agent?

    No doubt Shelter will take the sample size of 1 (not far from their normal sample size for press release surveys) in citing that all agents are ‘rogue agents’ and are still charging ‘rip off fees’ !

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    1. A W

      No doubt Shelter will take the sample size of 1 (not far from their normal sample size for press release surveys) in citing that all agents are ‘rogue agents’ and are still charging ‘rip off fees’ !” – this made me laugh… because it is likely true!

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  6. OverratedAgent

    Lettings agents now have to work for free to tenants in most circumstances (yes we are paid by the landlord granted)  
     
    We process endless paperwork for them, and ensure that they have somewhere to live, all for free, and yet 90% of people out there still think less of us than politicians and bankers and expect the world on a stick!
     
    A simple administrative error and rather than ask if this was legitimate, they decided to tarnish the agents name

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    1. jan - byers

      It is the age of snowflakes who are upset by everything

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      1. KByfield04

        If we call everyone who complains a snowflake I doubt the opinion of our professional will ever change. 

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        1. PossessionFriendUK39

          Take your point,  but this was one of the Most minor administrative errors ( as I’ve pointed out in my post above )  so the whinger ( if you’d prefer to snow-flake )  really is a bag of hot air.

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  7. PossessionFriendUK39

    Much ado about Nothing.

    Given the Millions of transactions and rate of advertisements, its inevitable a pure administrative fluke has occurred.  This was indeed only an ‘ advert ‘  and I’m sure would have been picked up and recognised by Property professionals in the lettings industry.

    Its not even as though any tenant was actually ‘ charged ‘ or had to pay this.

    How many ‘ mistakes ‘  or down-right contraventions of tenancy agreements are there by Rogue, Freeloader tenants ( the 5%  who give tenants a bad name and increase bureaucracy and costs for the other 95%  )

    Of course the Woke Government and so-called Tenant support groups don’t call for any legislation against  breaches by Tenants.

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  8. Joseph60

    And in the meantime (Shelter take note), average rents have risen, some more than 10%!  Crazy legislation has not helped the people it was designed to assist.

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