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A tenant renting with a major local letting agent won back the entirety of their “0 deposit” charges after two pickets of the letting agency. A member of Brighton SolFed recently moved out of their rented property and was hit with a number of absurd end of tenancy charges. They had entered into a “0 deposit” tenancy, managed by a third party company who were chasing up our member for these costs. Disgracefully, the company were charging a significant fee just to challenge these costs, which forced our member into paying these charges, despite disagreeing with them all. 

Our member was charged for a number of ridiculous things - such as supposedly not returning a key that they had handed to the letting agents office immediately on moving out, leaving behind a few coat hangers (!), not defrosting the freezer (something not mentioned in the tenancy agreement) and absurd charges for cleaning and damages not caused by the tenant. 

We took the dispute directly to the agency - treating it like any other deposit case - cutting out the third party company to avoid getting caught up in bureaucracy. We strongly feel that landlords and letting agencies cannot simply outsource responsibility to an outside party. The agency initially claimed that they had nothing to do with these charges, and that the only way we could claim this money back was through the third party, which we rejected. We continued our campaign and did two pickets of one of their offices, handing out leaflets with information about the case to sympathetic members of the public. A few days after the second picket - and on the eve of significant planned escalation - the full amount was transferred to our member. 

As these “0 deposit” tenancies are becoming increasingly widespread, we hope to have shown letting agencies that tenants are still fighting back against unfair deductions. 

Have you got an issue with your landlord, letting agency or workplace? Email Brighton SolFed -

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This article was published on 29 December 2022 by the SolFed group in Brighton. Other recent articles:

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