OFT urges landlords to contact solicitors after renewal refunds

  • Posted

Posted 24/02/2010

Landlords who rent out a residential property may wish to seek the counsel of their solicitors after advice that some could be in line for refunds on past charges.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) recently carried out an investigation into estate agent Foxtons after it was found to be charging landlords a renewal commission fee of 11 per cent whenever tenants stayed on in their property.

A judge ruled that the charges represented a “trap” and said they breached terms and conditions regulations, meaning that tens of thousands of landlords across the UK could be in line for refunds.

Since many other letting agents charge such renewal fees, it is estimated that up to £26 million could be paid back to landlords.

“Consumers should not be presented with a surprise bill for services they have not consciously agreed to,” said OFT spokesperson Jason Freeman.

Letting specialist Leaders recently said that demand for rental accommodation has increased so far in 2010, perhaps as a result of fewer mortgage products being available during the recession.


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