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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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My letting agency is trying to charge me fees and add on interest

Resolved Question:

My letting agency is trying to charge me fees and add on interest everyday for none payment. I cannot afford to pay now and want to pay in installments but they will not let me.
They are also applying interest that isn't stipulated in my contract as far as I can see. They do, in the contract, say there will be interest applied to late rent on a daily basis but do not say anything about interest on fees.
Do I have any rights to pay this fee in installments?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

Is there anything in the rental agreement that states a fee and interest can be charged?

JACUSTOMER-kfuc2wml- :

Yes in the original agreement there is a contractual breach fee of £30. They have recently changed this to £75 without me signing a new contract but i believe they reserve the right to change fees. However in the fee section the only interest discussed is for late rent. I can't find anything that says they reserve the right to apply interest to a fee. I've asked them to point this out in the contract.

JACUSTOMER-kfuc2wml- :

Even though the fee of £75 is utterly extortionate I can pay this in installments but they are refusing this offer.

Alex Watts :

I agree the £75 isnt justified, even £30 is on the high side, by way of example banks only charge £12

Alex Watts :

But if they cant point to interest on the fee, then they can't charge it, that is not permitted by contract

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else for you about this today please?

JACUSTOMER-kfuc2wml- :

As they have changed the fee from £30 to £75 do I have any rights to say I now no longer agree to the contract as my contract was based on a set of fees that have been greatly increased?

Alex Watts :

That does not suspend the whole contract, only that part of it

JACUSTOMER-kfuc2wml- :

Do I have any rights to say I do not agree with the new fees?

Alex Watts :

No, but the Court can assess any fees.

JACUSTOMER-kfuc2wml- :

When would the court become involved in this?

Alex Watts :

Once you dispute it and they try and charge you. You refuse and they take you to Court

JACUSTOMER-kfuc2wml- :

OK so finally...if I paid the original fee in full and then said i'm not paying the new fee as i dont agree with the terms and they take me to court realistically how much would being taken to court cost me?

JACUSTOMER-kfuc2wml- :

roughly

JACUSTOMER-kfuc2wml- :

legal fees etc

Alex Watts :

As a small claim they can only recover Court fees if they win

Alex Watts :

You are disputing on the basis the fee is a penalty and excessive

JACUSTOMER-kfuc2wml- :

sorry for my ignorance - how much are court fees roughly?

Alex Watts :

They can be found here:

Alex Watts :

https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/fees

JACUSTOMER-kfuc2wml- :

ok thank you

JACUSTOMER-kfuc2wml- :

one final thing

JACUSTOMER-kfuc2wml- :

Am i allowed to say I've spoken to a solicitor about this matter by using this site or does this not count as a formal legal consultation?

JACUSTOMER-kfuc2wml- :

when talking to the agency i mean

Alex Watts :

Yes of course. That is fine

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

JACUSTOMER-kfuc2wml- :

absolute last question :)

JACUSTOMER-kfuc2wml- :

do you think they're likely to take me to court over £45 or would the cost of them doing that outway the monies gained?

JACUSTOMER-kfuc2wml- :

or is that completely dependent on the agency?

JACUSTOMER-kfuc2wml- :

by £45 i mean £75 minus the £30 that i will pay based on the original fee figures

Alex Watts :

Unlikely I think. I would pay the original fee

JACUSTOMER-kfuc2wml- :

Is it OK to say I've been advised by Solicitor Alex Watts to pay the original fee or is it not OK to use a name? sorry this really is my final question

JACUSTOMER-kfuc2wml- :

i just dont understand if this is a formal consultation or not because it is online

JACUSTOMER-kfuc2wml- :

i understand if we cannot use names

Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Its not a formal consultation as I can not be instructed. This is a question and answer site.
I hope that helps.
Alex