After seeing an article in the Edinburgh Evening News in late 2012 about EPTAG holding a demonstration outside the offices of a letting agent, I decided to check out their website to find out more.
Even though I had moved and changed letting agents, I found an old ‘summary of charges’ from October 2008 for a flat I had rented from Edinburgh Letting Solutions (ELS). The summary listed the amounts for the deposit, months rent and then ‘Administration Fees’ of £50.
Following the website advice, letter templates and downloading a Sheriff Court Summons Form (EPTAG providing the link), I wrote a letter to ELS requesting my £50 back.
After waiting a few weeks and not getting a reply I sent another letter, which was not replied to. I then emailed them to inform them that if they did not respond this time I would take them to the small claims court.
ELS promptly replied to me with a proposed deadline date, promising me a full response (which they did not keep). So I spent half an hour reading and filling in the summons form and posted it off. Once it had been processed, I called the Sheriff office and paid my £16 lodgement fee over the phone. The court could not have been more helpful or friendly to me when I called them to ask how to proceed. I was given a deadline date for ELS to respond to me and a court date a fortnight later if ELS had not agreed to my refund.
Then out of the blue, a cheque for £50 was delivered to me, no letter, no apology, but at least a cheque! I wrote back to them and thanked them for this but explained that they still owed me £16 for having to bring the action against them and I would not be cancelling the court date until they paid me this. A week later another cheque for £16 arrived.
So although the whole process could take more than 6 weeks, it required very little effort on my part, just a few emails and some easy form filling at the start – the rest is just waiting for your cheque or court date!
It was only with the help and advice that I got from EPTAG that motivated me to make the initial effort to ask for my money back from ELS.
So to everyone who reads this and is thinking about reclaiming money that is rightfully theirs, then I would suggest you dig out the letting agents paperwork. The letter templates are on the website, you just fill in your details and post it off, it’s that easy.
I have just banked £66 for the cost of a couple of stamps and I imagine there is a lot of renters out there that have been stung for a lot more money than I. What are waiting for? Go get your free cash!