Shelter want default fees banned

by Property 118

10:50 AM, 17th May 2018
About 2 years ago

Shelter want default fees banned

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Shelter want default fees banned

In addition to the government lettings fee ban Shelter are calling for a ban or limit on what they term ‘backdoor’ or default fees.

Default fees are a charge written into the tenancy contract when an agreed term has been broken or a service has to be provided.

Shelter listed some extreme examples of default charges that would not fall within the lettings fee ban:

  • Landlord’s time, at £20 per hour, that’s two and half times the minimum wage, £160 a day, £800 a week, £3,200 a month, or £38,400 a year. It’s the equivalent of what a biochemist earns!
  • £45 procurement fee for dustpan and brush. The procurement cost was 15 times the actual cost of the dustpan and brush. The landlord really cleaned up here.
  • £200 to remove a new set of saucepans. Charity begins at home, but not for this agent, who removed a brand new set of saucepans a kind renter left for the next tenants, and charged a staggering £200 to do it. What will they cook up next?
  • £100 for cobweb removal. A hefty mark-up on a few sweeps of a feather duster. An arachnophobic letting agent, perhaps?
  • £10 to iron curtains per curtain. The most bizarre, audacious fee on the list. It had us in creases!

These examples are at the far end of the standard deviation with no mention of what the vast majority of good reasonable landlords would charge.

Shelter said: “The government knows these are open to abuse making changes to the bill as a result, but we still think there’s a loophole and without more protections, letting agents and landlords will try to exploit default fees. It will be difficult for tenants to challenge them.”



Comments

Cathie Hawkins

21:17 PM, 18th May 2018
About 2 years ago

£20 p/h. Odd to use a Biochemist as an example. The company I work for pays more than that for someone to fit loft insulation (I don’t get that much 😫). I suspect that doesn’t sound so good.

Luke P

21:36 PM, 18th May 2018
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Cathie Hawkins at 18/05/2018 - 21:17
Do they consider biochemist significantly more deserving? Clearly we have no value 🙁

Cathie Hawkins

21:39 PM, 18th May 2018
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 18/05/2018 - 21:36
Exactly. Has to be something highbrow. Don’t know many tradesmen that charge less. Why are we worthless?

Bill Williams

8:55 AM, 19th May 2018
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 18/05/2018 - 09:23
That is what Shelter is for. Primarily to employ useless people on high salaries using the excuse that they help the homeless.

terry sullivan

9:32 AM, 19th May 2018
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Bill Williams at 19/05/2018 - 08:55
same with public sector including MPs and peers--we need to reduce pubic sector massively and quangos should all be abolished and charities should receive no monies directly from govt.

Jim S

10:36 AM, 19th May 2018
About 2 years ago

I think this is an excellent topic of debate and really deserves its own discussion thread on Property 118
I think that it is time that we landlords finally had an agreed labour rate that is endorsed and recognised by the RLA and the NLA and then PUT INTO THE MODEL TENANCY AGREEMENT THAT THEY BOTH PRODUCE.
With regards to the labour rate of £20 an hour being expensive, WHAT A LOAD OF TOSH! After 29 years in the industry I now regard myself as equal to any qualified accountant or solicitor for the level of skill, responsibility and professionalism that is required to carry out my business correctly. My cleaning contractor charges £15.00 per hour and a good tradesman now wants £25.00 per hour. I am a little bit out of touch for the labour rates of an accountant and solicitor but I believe that these are at least £100 plus per hour. Please note that these rates are then PLUS VAT at 20%
Now I know that we are not going to charge a £100 plus per hour which is really for a consultants time but I have arrived at the perfect way to arrive at the landlord labour rate and that is to copy what the Manchester City Council would charge me if one of their officers has to spend time on any enforcement action after inspecting one of my HMO properties.
They have stated to me, in a letter (March 2018) that they have sent me when they wanted to carry out their 5 year inspection of my licensable HMO property that they have the power under section 49 of the Act (Which I think they were referring to the Housing Act 2004) that they can charge an officer time of £42.00 per hour. Now if they can justify this labour rate for one of their officers then I believe that we should at least be afforded the same labour rate. (What’s good for the Goose is good for the Gander)
May I remind those that devalue the landlords time that in the course of our business if we get things wrong then at best we get up to £30,000 civil penalty fines. If we make mistakes on our paperwork of administering a deposit, issuing the “How to rent” booklet, Gas safety certificates or EPC certificates to the tenant, then we lose our right to the Section 21 no fault eviction process which could cost us very dearly. At worst we go to jail if we fail to effectively carry out the “Right to rent in England” checks correctly. Now if that is not professional responsibility then what is?
I have now written to the RLA and the NLA calling for action on this subject.

Mike D

20:02 PM, 31st May 2018
About 2 years ago

I do have sympathy for outrageous claims and excessive costs.
However, £20 hour is a fair cost as that's the same as any tradesmen you would hire for P&D, plumbing, electrics etc and landlord's do multiple tasks to put right tenant poor care and general laziness.

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