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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 14296
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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I recently let my house through an estate agent. We had a

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I recently let my house through an estate agent. We had a contract that required me to pay the agent one month's rent for their services. The tenant they found for me transferred six months rent to the agent. The agent deducted the month's rent for their fees, plus VAT, and an additional GBP 1000 (previously not discussed) for what they claim was all their work getting my house ready to rent.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Norfolk
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: The transaction took place in Norfolk. I live in Abu Dhabi which is where i am writing from I have sent formal complaint email to the agent, who has responded to me with all sorts of justifications
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I am a qualified lawyer happy to help you today.

The agent has misrepresented their services if they charged you a further sum for something not previously discussed. I presume you have access to a UK address in order to take the next step, which is to consider court action.

I would recommend that you send the agency a formal letter before action to demand payment within 30 days and say that if they do not pay you, you will issue county court proceedings against them. See attached template as an example of what to say. Please let me know if you cannot see the letter which I have uploaded. You will need to tailor this letter to your situation.

You may also want to threaten a report to Trading Standards (who can be contacted on +44 3454 040506).

You will need to register at www.moneyclaim.gov.uk so that you are ready to issue the claim in the event they dispute the claim and do not pay you. The website is very user-friendly and you would not need a lawyer to use the money claim site. Claims with a value of under £10,000 are classed as a "small claim", so legal costs are not recoverable and the matter may be dealt with on paper by a Judge, not at a hearing. A hearing may be necessary if the court thinks that oral evidence is required to dispose of the case.

You would claim the sum for the loss, the court issue fee (details of the money claim fees are listed here at page 5: www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money/court-fees) and court interest which is 8% calculated on a daily rate from the date of loss to date of court judgment. The site allows you to calculate the interest and add it to the claim.

If you win then once you have the CCJ from the court the defendant has 14 days to pay in full. If they do not then it gets registered with the credit agencies after 30 days. You can also enforce the CCJ with the county court bailiffs or transfer the debt to the High Court for a small additional fee assuming the total amount owed is at least £600 and you can use the high court enforcement officers who have greater powers than county court bailiffs. The transfer fee is added on to the debt and payable by the defendant.

There are other enforcement methods which I can help with, including bank account freeze, charging order on their property (and then apply to force a sale), application to wind up the company if £750 or more is owed (if suing a limited company), apply to summons them to court for questioning, attachment of earnings order against their employer (if employed), all of which can ensure you are actually repaid the money.

You may find they just pay you after receiving the letter before action – hopefully they will want to avoid litigation.

I hope this helps - if you can please accept the answer and give me a 5 star rating (there should be a button at the top of your screen to do this), I can answer follow up questions at no extra charge and Just Answer will credit me for helping you today.

Many thanks,

Jim

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