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Landlord Legal Issues March 2015

Tessa Shepperson of Landlord Law answers your questions

Q. I signed up with a letting agency five months ago for their full management service for which I am paying quite a bit. However, they now want to charge me £100 for arranging for some repair work to be done. Surely this should be included.

Had I known that there were extra charges it would have made me think twice about signing up with them in the first place. I have already had a nasty shock when I found out (after I had signed) that all their prices were ex-VAT which meant (as I am not VAT registered) that the cost was 20% more than I was expecting! I only have the one property and this is the first time I have done this sort of thing. What are my rights?

A. Your agents are at fault here. First - all charges should be made clear to you before you sign your contract. If charges are hidden away in the 'small print' they may be unenforceable against you. If you were not told about them at all, then I don't see how you can be liable for them, particularly if you were told that the service was all inclusive.

It is also very bad practice to give prices as ex-VAT figures. Indeed you even have grounds to claim that you are only entitled to pay the ex-VAT figure you were quoted if the fact that VAT should be added on top was not made clear to you.

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