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    Say four people live in a house together and three of them pay rent on time every month. We had one person paying late and the estate agents has fined us all £30 each. Is that right? Why isn't just the individual fined? Why all of us?
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    (Original post by Creat0r)
    Say four people live in a house together and three of them pay rent on time every month. We had one person paying late and the estate agents has fined us all £30 each. Is that right? Why isn't just the individual fined? Why all of us?
    The estate agent cant fine you, that's illegal. Don't pay it.
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    (Original post by Reue)
    The estate agent cant fine you, that's illegal. Don't pay it.
    True, but they can write a contract that imposes a late payment fee of £30 a head which the OP can mis-describe as a fine, in which case the OP is buggered (and the tenants are normally jointly and severally liable, meaning that it is inescapable).
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    (Original post by Reue)
    The estate agent cant fine you, that's illegal. Don't pay it.
    Ok. What about the person that actually paid the fees months late? Is he/she alone eligible to be charged?
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    True, but they can write a contract that imposes a late payment fee of £30 a head which the OP can mis-describe as a fine, in which case the OP is buggered (and the tenants are normally jointly and severally liable, meaning that it is inescapable).
    Such a contract term would be unenforceable.

    If OP were to not pay it, they would need to take it from the deposit. OP then challenges this through the deposit projection scheme and the letting agent will lose the appeal.
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    (Original post by Creat0r)
    Ok. What about the person that actually paid the fees months late? Is he/she alone eligible to be charged?
    Read my previous post, and the rental agreement.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    True, but they can write a contract that imposes a late payment fee of £30 a head which the OP can mis-describe as a fine, in which case the OP is buggered (and the tenants are normally jointly and severally liable, meaning that it is inescapable).
    Will this be on the contract we all signed when signing for the house?
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    (Original post by Creat0r)
    Ok. What about the person that actually paid the fees months late? Is he/she alone eligible to be charged?
    Noone is eligable as it's not a valid fine.
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    (Original post by Reue)
    Such a contract term would be unenforceable.
    Why? It doesn't seem unreasonable to me, and banks and credit card companies impose such late payment fees all the time and they are enforceable (and enforced).
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    (Original post by Creat0r)
    Will this be on the contract we all signed when signing for the house?
    Yes.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    Why? It doesn't seem unreasonable to me, and banks and credit card companies impose such late payment fees all the time and they are enforceable (and enforced).
    Banks and credit card companies have been told time and time again that their fees are not fines and must be directly related to the costs incurred by the company for dealing with the unauthorised overdraft etc.

    The landlord (note: NOT lettings agency, the contract is with the landlord) would need to prove they have suffered a financial hit of £120 due to the late payment of the rent.
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    (Original post by Reue)
    Banks and credit card companies have been told time and time again that their fees are not fines
    The only person thinking this is a fine is the OP (who doesn't know that "rental agreement" is a synonym for "contract").
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    The only person thinking this is a fine is the OP (who doesn't know that "rental agreement" is a synonym for "contract").
    So back to my original point: This charge is unenforcable as it does not reflect costs incurred by the landlord.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    The only person thinking this is a fine is the OP (who doesn't know that "rental agreement" is a synonym for "contract").
    Well I got mixed up with the terminology.
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    (Original post by Reue)
    So back to my original point: This charge is unenforcable as it does not reflect costs incurred by the landlord.
    This is really helpful and thank you. Do you know where I can find this elsewhere on the internet? Just that I 'm about to tell my housemates what you just said and the only source I have so far is "nice friendly person on student room".
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    (Original post by Creat0r)
    This is really helpful and thank you. Do you know where I can find this elsewhere on the internet? Just that I 'm about to tell my housemates what you just said and the only source I have so far is "nice friendly person on student room".
    Your best souce of info would be to ask the tenancy deposit scheme that your deposit is registered with, because ultimiately if you refused to pay it would be them to decide whether the 'fine' should be deducted from your deposit.

    Either way: what have you got to lose by not paying it? They certainly cant fine you for late payment of a fine
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    (Original post by Reue)
    So back to my original point: This charge is unenforcable as it does not reflect costs incurred by the landlord.
    That is an arguable point. On the face of it the clause (assuming it exists) is a liquidated damages clause. The only remedy is to pay it and then take the landlord to court, claiming it is a disguised penalty clause and that the charge is too high.

    In the meantime, the OP and his friends should come to an arrangement with the flatmate that hasn't paid on time, involving his/her compensation of them.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    The only remedy is to pay it and then take the landlord to court, claiming it is a disguised penalty clause and that the charge is too high.
    The introduction of the deposit protection scheme was specifically to avoid this kind of court requirement and put the burden of proof onto the landlord to justify the deductions,

    The only remedy is to not pay it and watch the landlord try and justify the deduction to the protection scheme.
 
 
 
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