Can I negotiate rental agency tenant-changeover fees?
November 16, 2009 7:12 PM Subscribe
I live in London in a flat of three, and someone wants to move out. We have someone else ready to move in. The lettings agency wish to charge £150 for swapping a person over, and £100 for admin fees. Can we dispute this, for a more reasonable fee?
posted by anonymous to law & government (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The fees were similarly massive when we moved in (and we paid 6 weeks rent as deposit). When I visited the building we ended up saying yes to, the agent actually never came down (the janitor let us in). In fact, the first time I ever actually saw the agent was going into their offices to sign the contract and collect the keys.
While I understand that credit checks must be done, and some phone calls must be made, I fail to see the justification for paying half a months rent to change some names on a piece of paper when I found the other tenant. £100, that's going to sting but it's doable. But £250?
Two options seem to present themselves:
1) Try to negotiate, asking them for an itemised breakdown of these costs and making a case for them to reduce the fees for good tenants who have paid all their bills on time and never broken anything or asked them to do anything or fix anything.
2) Go straight to the Landlord. Do this actually have to be done through the Agency? Problem is in this case the 'Landlord' is a big company and I'd expect they'll just want the agency to handle it and will happily pay whatever they're being extorted for, in turn.
The person moving in is having a hard enough time getting 6 weeks rent, plus one months rent up front together, without high fees adding to the troubles.