Do I have to pay a letting fee?

Question from Elise updated on 26th February 2009:

My friend has asked me to rent her house, which I have agreed to. She has put property in property manager's care but as she obtained me as a tenant herself, both of us agree that there is no need for a letting fee but the property managers want me to still pay. They have done nothing to get this tenancy. Can you please advise if either of us has to pay it.

Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:

Letting fees may be charged to a tenant for the grant or assignment of a tenancy, and may be charged only by a landlord who is a registered real estate agent. The Residential Tenancies Act does not specify whether the landlord must have obtained the tenant themselves in order to be able to charge the letting fee. If you and your landlord are unable to agree on whether a letting fee should be charged in this situation, you can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to have the matter resolved. To discuss your situation further, or for advice and information about applying to the Tenancy Tribunal, you can contact the Department of Building and Housing on 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262).

The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.

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