This blog clinic question is asked by Angela (not her real name) whose question is as follows:
We’re moving out of a property and received a checkout letter from the agents. We have already been charged £60 for the current agents to send a reference to the agents for the next house and now we’re being notified of a number of (what we think are) unfair charges and policies:
1) They will not allow us to be present during the final inspection (is this legal?)
2) If anything comes up during the final inspection we will be charged a £75 administration fee on top of the services that need to be carried out to fix the issues found during the inspection.
3) We are not allowed to try and sort out any problems that they may find during the final inspection because they will charge £50 + VAT for every hour we are in the property after the final inspection and £70 for an additional inspection.
I phoned the desposit protection service but they said that they do not offer advice. We don’t know what to do because we’ve been charged unfairly in the past and do not want it to happen again so we’d really like to be present during the final inpection and we’d be very happy to sort out any issues they may have following the final inspection.
Any suggestions or feedback would be greatly appreciated!!
We had a question about excluding the tenant from the checkout meeting before. But at least those agents were willing to allow the tenants to attend if they paid the checkout fee!
My view is that none of these charges are wholly unjustified. You are entitled to be present during the final inspection and can only be charged for damage found at that inspection which is not ‘fair wear and tear’. Which the agents will need to support by producing receipts for the cost of any work done.
If the agents won’t let you attend, I suggest you challenge each and every claim they make and any of these charges if they seek to deduct them from your deposit, and tell the adjudicator what you have told us.
You could also consider reporting the agents to the Office of Fair Trading.
Does anyone else have any suggestions?