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Return of Advertising fees from LA (again!)


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You may recall I had some problems with a LA regarding advertising fees that were not included in the agreement.http://residentiallandlord.ipbhost.com/ind...&#entry7537

Due to my past problem I was cautious when I signed up with another new LA in the same city, clarifying before I signed the agreement that advertising fees would be fully refunded if they found no tenant eg in 3 weeks for example I could leave. I wanted a quick Let 2- 3 weeks max.

Well, I stayed with them 6 weeks when no Let or even a negotiation of a possible rent, hardly any feedback and decided to leave expecting the fully refundable advertising fee (150+ vat) to be refunded.

However, when I tried to leave they started to say I should give them another 2 weeks (they actually said this 2 weeks ago) and so I stayed on with hardly any feedback apart from myself constantly chasing this LA for feedback every week. They now say as I paid my advertising fee late (i.e not on signing agreement in early October but according to them received on 2 November they should be allowed to market it for 6 weeks from that date.

They also said if I do not want them to market the property from 6 weeks from receipt of this advertising fee then they will stop and it will take another 7-10 working days to get the fee back.

It doesn't say anywhere in the huge 10-page agreement (longest I've ever seen!)

a) when the advertising fee should be paid :wacko: how long they can keep it if I withdraw

Infact there was a part in the original agreement that states if LL withdraws an advertising fee of XY would be payable per week but we both agreed to cross that out - I wanted a quick Let in 2-3 weeks. At the time they verbally re-assured me the advertising fee would be fully refundable say if I after 3 weeks I wanted to withdraw.

Can they use the basis that I paid the advertising fee late to hold on to the fee for longer?

They are no longer marketing it.

Can they keep my advertising fee for another 7-10 days? They seem to be making up the rules as they go along.

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You know What is coming next ...

7days to return or DC will be instructed !

Why are you paying anything upfront ...i have never parted with a penny unless they produce a suitable T ...and if either i or another LA find one first then nothing payable ...as for 10 page agreement ..most of my agreements with agents are verbal .....but DO deal with small firms NOT big nationals and deal with the owner NOT the lacky ....you know someone you can pull over the desk "so to speak" if necessary !!!

If a LA asked me for any kind ofpayment up front that would terminate our conversation immediately ....


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I learn something every day here. I thought I was one wiser when I got the AF as refundable after my last venture (which I didn't have to pay in the end as it was not written in the Agreement)-I didn't think too much of paying it this time round as it was refundable -but I delayed paying it.

I've told them that if they are to with-hold or delay my up-front fees paid then I will have to send someone round to collect it on my behalf unless they can arrange to return monies paid up-front on the next working day.

We'll see what happens...(this area is btw is where I have this 2 bed new build thats had a rental void for 3 months and had 3 LA's -one I want to get rid if the next LA doesnt get leads soon, new builds have Let in the area but my timng was wrong as so many completed all at once and I was out of country a while when mine completed)

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Hi Mate,

If you are local then why not do it yourself? Maybe I'm missing something and you're not local, but even then if you're not too busy it is still possible to do it yourself, given no longer than a few hours drive.

I would sling an ad on Gumtree, advertising it as a house and a seperate ad advertising room per room. Also try easyroomate & spareroom.co.uk, they cost about 5 pound a week or 50 quid for the year.

The thing is, the way the country is at the moment, there are lots young people/foreigners who don't know enough people they want to share a house with, and are just looking for 1 room.

Also any families with kids, why would they rent when they can pretend they are homeless and get a council house for a third of the price?

So this means your market by the sounds of it is groups of students, groups of young people, students on their own and young people on their own.

Alot of these people use the internet to search, and loads use Gumtree. Most LA's won't be advertising on there and as such are missing a huge section of people.

If I was looking for a flat/room I would do a google search, and many probably would, as long as the sites you are advertsing on are coming up on the first page of google, your advertising in the right place.

Most letting agents waste tons of money in advertising in papers etc, that people just don't use anymore. If your target market were 60 then fine, but realistically they are not. I feel LA's tend to be lagging behind here.

I wouldn't be surprised if you couldn't get the void down to about a week or two per year and increase rent PCM by about 50% by doing this. Also no letting fees. It will save you a bomb.

Finally when I was renting a flat, I had to give a huge notice period and they said they would try and find someone asap. They didn't do a thing, they didn't even try. So after a while I stuck an ad on Gumtree, and showed 10 people around the next night, the LA had a huge amount of people waving deposits at them the next morning.

Give it a go!

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"you know someone you can pull over the desk "so to speak" if necessary !!!"

Oh simon you do slay me sometimes. haha

and Matthew!!!!!!!!

Don't let Simon hear you saying things like

"I would sling an ad on Gumtree"

"I stuck an ad on Gumtree"

You'll be for the high jump now . . . . . . .lol

For the record no LA should be taking any monies up front from LL's, only when they've found a suitable T so OP don't get tied into this again.

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Letting agents aren't behind advertizing in newspapers, they know most enquiries come from the internet and that marketing costs in the news are disproportionately high (sometimes over £1000pm). However, they continue to use papers to attract/satisfy landlords who expect to see their property in the lights of local rags. Seems to me that the agents you have chosen are using less mainstream methods to offset their costs.

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The agent I had used was not advertising in newspapers - just websites like rightmove, their own site, fish4homes, for an insert in a newspaper they wanted an extra £25 per week which I didn't agree for (or else that would be another £25/pw lost)

Thanks Matthew for your suggestions - i.e Gumtree I have as you suggested 'sling an ad on gum tree' :rolleyes: and it did get some responses (which I forwarded to the last LA) - I think more than through the last LA. Unfortunately I do not live in the area, I live about 100 miles away and cannot get there as and when prospective tenants require viewings, hence my use of a Letting Agent.

It will be exactly 1 week since I withdrew from the LA tomorrow -all they have said is they will return the advertising fee in 7-10 days time -they did not respond to my mail regarding sending someone to collect it if they do not return it the next day.

How legal is it to with hold up front fees once a client has withdrawn? Can they charge up front fees in the first place?

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