Letting fee refund?

Question from Trina updated on 14th February 2014:

Hi, can I get my letting fee refunded? I have not signed a tenancy agreement as there is a clause that stipulates that "the property is for occupation by not more than two adults and not to permit more than two people to occupy the property at any one time". This does not suit my needs as this is a four-bedroom apartment and we were considering getting in a flatmate at some point. Therefore the property agent has not met my/our needs. I look forward to your advice. Thanks, Trina

Our expert Richard Evans responded:

Hi, I find it strange that you paid a letting fee but had not signed the tenancy agreement. Did they require you to pay the letting fee before revealing that clause in the tenancy agreement? Tenancy agreements can be verbally binding if you say “yes I’ll take it” but paying a letting fee, or any money, before sighting the tenancy agreement is highly unusual. Have the agents refused to return the letting fee? My first reaction is that the agents sound rather unpleasant! If all else fails you can try mediation - just phone the Ministry of Building, Innovation and Employment help line on 0800 737 666.


Richard and Pauline Evans own Rotorua Rentals and manage over 800 houses in Rotorua - www.rotoruarentals.co.nz They are also directors of The Leading Property Managers of New Zealand - www.lpmnz.com - so they have the knowledge and experience to offer an opinion on most matters of property management.

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