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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Agent launches petition to oppose credit/debit card surcharge ban

An agency operating in London and Essex has launched an online petition to oppose the ban on credit and debit card surcharges as applied to letting agents.

As we reported yesterday the EU’s European Payment Services Directive bans card surcharges levied by companies on individuals; the Treasury confirmed again yesterday that for letting agents, this applies to surcharges when individual tenants pay rent, even though the collection of that rent is undertaken by an agency on behalf of a landlord. 

As a result, Mark Deudney from the Spencer Munson agency has started a formal protest.

“I’ve started a petition about the unfairness of allowing banks to charge debit/credit card fees for companies such as letting agents who receive money on behalf of clients and now lose money doing it” he says.

“Ironically the argument used for banning tenants fees (tenants can’t choose which agent the property is with) is exactly the same (agents can’t control what payment method a tenant uses in paying their rent and deposit) yet banks who make billions can still charge the agent.”

Deudney says that it’s becoming “harder and harder to operate an honest agency” because of the pressures of the upcoming tenant fees’ ban, GDPR and other issues.

“It just seems so wrong that to accept rent and/or a deposit on a card, and this client money not a fee to us, could cost us £50 to £100 or more and yet we can't turn the business away” he says.

Under previous consumer legislation, companies - including letting agencies dealing with individual landlord and tenant clients - could levy a surcharge so long as it reflected their cost in processing the debit or credit card payment. 

You can see the petition here.

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    I agree that this would seem a legitimate fee to pass on to someone who chooses to use a credit card so why not follow the response of many retailers ie 'sorry we don't accept credit cards due to the high fees we'd have to pay. Debit card or BACS is fine. We can take a deposit and rent up to £nnn for the first time but after that it needs to be standing order or BACS'.

  • Rob Bryer

    If the likes of Just Eat can charge a 50p service charge then maybe you can charge the tenant a service fee for paying by phone. Then you only take credit card rents over the phone and charge the service fee. For the moment I have just decided not to take any more rents by credit or debit card at all.

  • icon

    we havent used a PDQ machine or taken cash for years nearly everyone has the facility to do direct bank transfers these days, or set up standing orders for rent if people are using credit cards to pay rent one must question their finacial suitability?

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