Inventory clerk fees
So you have found your dream property, have signed the tenancy agreement and are preparing to move in. The checkin meeting is to be done by an inventory clerk, which is good, but, hang on! You are expected to pay for him!
Are they allowed to do that?
The answer, as always, is “it depends’. First of all, check your tenancy agreement. Did you read it carefully before you signed? No, I thought not.
Inventory clerk fees clauses in tenancy agreements
It is actually quite common for there to be a clause providing for the tenant to pay for inventory clerk charges. BUT this should be shared equally with the landlord, otherwise it will be an unfair clause.
The normal type of clause provides for the landlord to pay for one (say the checkin meeting) and the tenant to pay for the other (say the checkout meeting). That is quite fair, and generally cannot be challenged. Provided the fees charged are reasonable.
Is the charge a reasonable one?
If you think the charges are not reasonable, ring up a few inventory clerks and ask what their fees are. Or a lot of them will set out their charges on their web-pages.
If the charges are reasonable, then pay up gracefully, and be glad that the inventory is being dealt with by someone trained and impartial.
If they are way over the average, you may have grounds for complaint. Offer to pay (and send a cheque for) the average amount. If your covering letter says the cheque is sent in ‘full and final settlement’ and they cash it, they won’t be able to claim anything more from you.
If the inventory clerk fee is not mentioned in your tenancy agreement and the demand for payment is the first thing you have heard about it, you may be justified in refusing to pay.
See more help for tenants on Landlord Law.