Letting Fees

Hi, Im interested in your opinion on whether you think this goes against this… https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2019/01/letting-fees-to-be-banned-from-june/

Instead of ‘admin fee’ they’ve called it a joining fee. In the viewing it was referred to as an admin fee but I didn’t challenge it at the time.

  • Yes, its illegal
  • No, its fine

0 voters

Before I vote, what do you get in return for your membership fee of £100? Do you get benefits throughout your membership? Is there an annual membership renewal?

This looks like a loophole stab, but I don’t have enough solid evidence from your post to think/prove otherwise.


Think of it the other way round.

Is it deposit or rent? Those are the only things they can now legally ask for, IMO

Can you choose not to be a member and still get the tenancy on the same terms? If not, then it’s a fee for the tenancy

Its a one off fee I was forced to pay to secure a flat.

Aside from a place to live and all bills included, no.

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Part one of the deposit is the £315 (rest to be paid on key collection) and then full rent payments follow. It is neither so I presume a violation of the tenancy fee ban?

I would be call Trading Standards and drawing it to their attention.

Out of interest, what does the firms T&C say about the charge?

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Without going into the details of the T’s & C’s (and the legal requirements) this smells a bit fishy.
A membership is something you pay to become part of an ongoing entity. It usually has benefits (but maybe not - you’ll be informed at sign-up of course) but you have the right to call yourself a paid-up member of the [insert club-name here] when you ‘join’

This doesn’t seem to follow those basic definitions.

If you’re keen on the place, probably wait till you’re in.

Then you could also send a demand for repayment with your reasons, then file a small money claim online. They will almost certainly pay up to avoid a county court judgement

If membership is required to get the tenancy, then this just outright stinks!


Can you clarify ‘all bills included’ please?

Interestingly Ive found a text from the sales executive saying “There is a one off £100 joining admin fee” :man_shrugging:

Print, screenshot, whatever and put in the drawer!

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Water, gas, electricity, council tax, wifi, tv

But that’s in the tenancy agreement, right?

There should be a clause under “landlord’s obligations” that starts something like

“To pay the following utility bills…”

So ‘Landlord X’ will include the basic utilities and Council Tax in the monthly rental? Are you 100% sure of this? If this is in the agreement, you have one amazing deal.

Yep 100%

I haven’t shared the monthly price - personally I think its overpriced but I needed a place and couldn’t be picky about it.

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As long as all that’s definitely in the agreement and not somehow linked to the “membership” fee, then it’s of no relevance to whether the fee is legal.

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See this government document, seems pretty clear to me.

Sounds like they’re trying to see what they can get away with, but the below is clear on the payments you can make.

The only payments in connection with a tenancy that you can be asked to
make are:
• the rent
• a refundable tenancy deposit capped at no more than five weeks’ rent where
your total annual rent is less than £50,000, or six weeks’ rent where your total
annual rent is £50,000 or above
• a refundable holding deposit (to reserve a property) capped at no more than
one week’s rent
• payments to change the tenancy when requested by the tenant, capped at
£50, or reasonable costs incurred if higher
• payments associated with early termination of the tenancy, when requested
by the tenant
• payments in respect of utilities, communication services, TV licence and
council tax; and
• A default fee for late payment of rent and replacement of a lost key/security
device giving access to the housing, where required under a tenancy

edit: I suppose they could say that this has nothing to do with the tenancy and is a fee they want to charge you to do business with the letting agent in general? If so, that still sounds pretty shady, but it could be a work around. In my opinion, it’s still technically in connection with a tenancy.


Join ACORN the renters union.

It sounds like they’ve just renamed the admin fee.

Yep, I would get that £100 back they shouldn’t be doing that.

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