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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48194
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I wanted to rent a property, paid in the deposit, but my referrence

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I wanted to rent a property, paid in the deposit, but my referrence appeared not succesful, so I was paid back only part of my deposit.
The reference fee is 75 per person, they have not returned me 225, as there was 3 applicants. But they did reference check on me only, and they took only Credit Report into consideration, they haven't taken referencies from my work eithr my workplace. I think this 225.- charge is unfair. Can I claim it back?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Did you have some sort of agreement in place which said what you were to get back in the event of unsuccessful referencing? Also did they say what they would check when they were conducting the references?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, not sure if you saw my initial query above - Did you have some sort of agreement in place which said what you were to get back in the event of unsuccessful referencing? Also did they say what they would check when they were conducting the references?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Dear Ben,

Thanks for getting in touch, I've experienced some technical issues with my new membership here and couldn't see your answer before going on short holiday, thus sorry for delay in answering.
We did sign a "good faith" letter, which I attach.

Attachment: 2015-07-15_171033_victoria_marks_good_faith_letter.pdf

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Thanks and no problem. I will take a look and get back to you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, whether they can keep these fees would depend on what they had initially charged them for and if they had actually undertaken this. For example, if the fee was just to cover one person’s reference then the fact that the other two tenants were mot checked would not make a difference. So you need to think about what was agreed at the outset – was it always going to only be one person who needs a reference or was it all three. If all three were due to undergo a reference check and you failed on only one of them and before the others were checked, then you should be refunded the balance. That is because the agents have not completed the work for which they charged you and they should nit just make a profit out of that. It can actually be seen as a penalty where they are penalising you and these are unenforceable.
So I would approach them with these arguments first and try to get the refund of at least £150 back. You may lose the fee for the one reference they did though so be prepared to have to let that go. If you are struggling to get the remainder back then consider the following information.
Whenever a dispute arises over money owed by one party to another, the debtor can be pursued through the civil courts for recovery of the debt. As legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps:
1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the debtor to voluntarily pay what is due.
2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the debtor must be sent a formal letter asking them to repay the debt, or at least make arrangements for its repayment, within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to recover the debt. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action.
3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the debtor and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this.
Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far.
I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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