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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 17276
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I am letting an apartment from the agency KFH and have

Customer Question

I am letting an apartment from the agency KFH and have already paid the deposit and first months rent. They have per contract requested that I continue paying rent via direct debit. I just received the request but there is no mention of a specific amount on it. I expected it would mention the amount of rent to be paid monthly, and asked them about it. They replied that it is simply a consent. If I sign it, wouldn't this mean that they could take any amount from my bank account at any given time?
Submitted: 13 days ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 13 days ago.

Welcome to Just Answer.

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how did you wish to pay the rent?

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
I had no preference, and had no option either. It was stipulated in the contract that I signed that I should pay the agency via Direct Debit
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
I don't mind it as I can cancel it at any time apparently, but I am cautious about their consent form not mentioning an amount, should I be?
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
I would be happy to show it to you
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
File attached (MLMG134)
Expert:  F E Smith replied 13 days ago.

Direct debits do not normally have an amount specified on them. Standing orders have an amount specified on them.

They work differently.

A standing order for a fixed amount is instigated by you and pays the money every month.

A direct debit is instigated by the intended recipient and they request the money every month from your bank and your bank pays it provided they have a mandate/authority from you to do so.

The reason that institutions like direct debits is because of the amount of money changes, as it would do, for example, with insurance premiums or rent, is that they do not need another form and to chase the paying party which they would do if it was a standing order.

However the Direct Debit Guarantee scheme will refund any payments that you did not authorise:

https://www.directdebit.co.uk/DirectDebitExplained/Pages/Howtoclaim.aspx

These companies will not just take any amount of money because of they start shenanigans, they will simply have the facility to take Direct Debit withdrawn and they wouldn’t want that because it’s not an easy facility to get in the first place.

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Best wishes.

FES