Charging Admin Fees Post Tenancy

by Readers Question

10:40 AM, 21st May 2015
About 3 years ago

Charging Admin Fees Post Tenancy

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Charging Admin Fees Post Tenancy

I have a question about making signed AST’s available after end of tenancy and the tenant has vacated the property.

I’ve had a tenant come back to me nearly a year after leaving the property and demand a copy of the AST she signed.

1. Do I have to hunt this out and give her a copy ?

– If she were within her tenancy I would not even question it and would give her another copy – prob. a .PDF initially and then print one if she so insisted.

2. Can I charge her for doing so ?

– With all of my tenants I don’t charge any signup-fee’s, the rent’s the rent and that’s it. However, this is work that is outside what I would deem ‘the norm’ and I feel I should be recompensed – you know, only a £10 to cover time, postage etc.

Many thanks

Paul.ten



Comments

Mark Alexander

10:51 AM, 21st May 2015
About 3 years ago

Hi Paul

For the sake of a tenner is it really worth the aggravation of invoicing and the potential resentment that could occur towards you from your former tenant?

Look upon it as an opportunity to build reputation, goodwill or build bridges. There is far too much unpleasantness in life as it is, and lets face it, is a tenner really going to change your life that much?
.

Mick Roberts

12:19 PM, 21st May 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "21/05/2015 - 10:51":

Ha ha brilliant answer Mark. I shouldn't laugh, but yes as we get older, should we be arguing about petty things?

I'm always being ruddy asked for copies of my tenants. I always ask why because if it's a need to reduce their debts, then I advise & they take the latest rent increase letter which shows more outgoings, in order for them to prove to whoever.

As ten year old tenancy normally shows a lower rent to today.

But in the case above, I'd be asking why tenancy a year later, as this is sometimes tenant been advised off drug dealing earing in lip mate that ex landlord should have gave her some money back.

Side tracking, I just pressed 'reply to comment' within IE11, still don't work, took me to top of page, but in Chrome, worked perfectly.

Mick Roberts

12:21 PM, 21st May 2015
About 3 years ago

And I'd want more than a tenner just to print the tenancy if I was gonna' charge.
So might as well do it for free.

Romain Garcin

12:28 PM, 21st May 2015
About 3 years ago

Make that £30 and you'll be happy to receive such requests.

Mark Alexander

12:34 PM, 21st May 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Romain Garcin" at "21/05/2015 - 12:28":

Smacks of profiteering to me.

I don't charge for references either, perhaps I going soft in my old age LOL
.

Paul Thomas

13:05 PM, 21st May 2015
About 3 years ago

Thanks for all of the comments.

Alas, no one has answered question 1. which is "Do I have to produce a copy of this contract". It would be interesting to know if I do "legally" need to keep old AST's. I do have unsigned (but completed) ones on the computer for the last 7 years, so I've got all my previous tenants details to hand. You do need them from time to time.

In relation to the fee, I can live waiving this. Prob. Question 1 is more important.

I am on good terms with the tenant, but it always seems to be me giving !! I've already done a lot (without thanks) for this tenant. Including finding her employment.

I was the person who fixed the trashed bathroom as they went away for two weeks and left taps running... ect... You know the sort....

I know when/if I give her a copy of a tenancy she's going to kick something up and I'm going to have to be chasing paper work. Yes, I know it all comes part and parcel....

Paul :-[

Luke P

14:31 PM, 21st May 2015
About 3 years ago

You're not forced to keep it on file. Tell them you shredded it for data protection/security purposes after they left.

I assume they were given a copy in the beginning, so why should you give another.

I see that by refusing you could cause unnecessary hassle, but as you suspect, they probably only want it to attempt to get something back after a mate down the pub told them about an obscure law.

John Daley

14:49 PM, 21st May 2015
About 3 years ago

Hi Paul,

Your contractual relationship with the tenant is over so you are under no obligation to do anything for the ex tenant.

However the tenant may have some reasonable justification for the request, in which case it is good manners to provide a copy if you have one. You would be justified in making a charge to cover your expenses. I'd get the cash before handing over the document.

It's possible the ex tenant is assembling references for a letting or mortgage, however it's their own fault for losing the AST so why shouldn't they pay for a new copy.

wayne carson

15:24 PM, 21st May 2015
About 3 years ago

I would suggest that under the Data Protection Act you are required to keep copies for a reasonable period of time. I would suggest that you are considered the Data Controller so therefore the onus is on you to process and store any information on your Clients.
It does not necessarily need to be hard copies but one would presume that the subject provided personal information to you regarding their personal life in order to be considered for tenancy? This falls information falls under the remit of the act.
Best practice is to keep all records for 6 years. I know the police do this. they scan all papers and keep originals for 6 years.
In relation to your situation i would suggest that you inform the former tenant that copies run at £20 but they will have to be unsigned copies as you protect tenants data by destroying hard copy personal data of non current customers confidentially. You could be in breach of the Act by not being able to provide the data if officially requested.
I am suspicious as to why they would want such a copy. I would concur with the comment by Luke that someone has been singing into their ear. Ensure that you have complied with all requirements of deposits etc.. Registered in 30 days and issued prescribed information with 14 days of that. Such things as that can be claimed for retrospectively.

Romain Garcin

15:45 PM, 21st May 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "wayne carson" at "21/05/2015 - 15:24":

I think that the DPA mandates that personal data should not be kept for longer than necessary, and thus deleted when no longer of use for the purpose they were collected.

An ex-tenant could make a subject access request under the DPA to force his ex-landlord to disclose any personal data he holds, and the fee could not be more than £10. However, I don't think that the tenancy agreement as a whole would be part of these data.
Of course, if personal data have been destroyed then there is no longer anything to disclose.

That said, in general documents should indeed be kept for 6 years because it corresponds to the deadline to bring court action and, I think but could be wrong, for HMRC to question tax returns.

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