Estate agents renewal fees of lettings in the UK

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office-of-fair-trading
The Office of Fair Trading brought action against Foxtons Ltd to the High Court claiming that certain terms within Foxton’s lettings contracts were unfair under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999.

Letting Agent Renewal Fees

hmcs-high-courtThe case dragged on for years and on July 10, 2009 the Judge accepted that all the terms that the OFT brought before the court were unfair.

Renewal fees, whilst not all illegal, must be covered in the contract in an open and transparent way

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Foxton’s renewals and potential sales commission liabilities were not stated within their main marketing and explanatory leaflets, but was only to be found in the ‘small print’ of the contract document itself. Those fees could not be deemed to form part of the core agreement and, as such, were unfair terms under the Regulations.

Charging repeat renewal commission by Foxtons represented a “trap”. In his judgement, Mr Justice Mann made it clear however that he was not making a decision that renewal commissions were always unfair.

If you feel you have been unfairly charged over the years by your letting agency, you should write a formal letter asking them for your money back.

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