Suspicious tenants look as though they are starting to take their lettings agents to task over charges ahead of the fees ban.
One renter, Jen Ferguson, took to Twitter after spotting a renewal fee of £175 plus VAT, or £210, in her new tenancy agreement with London agents Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward.
It later emerged that her accusation was unfounded, as KFH has always charged for renewals.
However Ferguson, who runs a craft beer shop in London, also queried how the contract can have future charges if a fee ban comes in.
An email response to her by KFH, seen by EYE, said: “We are aware about the discussions taking place regarding tenancy fees, however this hasn’t been put into place and no legislation has been passed.
“Therefore our fees are still applicable upon a renewal. Concerning future renewals, fees shall be assessed at this time.”
Ferguson then asked if a clause can be added stating that fees will be assessed once a ban comes in, but was told: “We will not be amending the agreement to this effect as we are unsure of the outcome concerning tenancy fees in the future.
“Please note if tenant fees are abolished by Parliament this shall be a legal requirement for all agencies to follow and therefore in that case we will not charge these fees regardless of this being confirmed within the tenancy agreement.
“As previously advised this will be assessed at the point of any legislation changing.”
Ferguson said she has still signed the renewal as she has a good relationship with her landlord, but said it would be good if KFH actually explained what the fee covered.
She said: “I think most people would agree with me that charging £210 for doing nothing but sending an email is outrageous.”
Ferguson said she has never had a response to queries about what the fee covers.