Protest against Dunpark Letting Agency on 19th November – and the story behind

November 14th, 2013 | Posted by Valeri in Protest

protest-against-dunparkEPTAG is staging a protest against Dunpark Letting Agency to support student Rosie K to claim back her illegally charged fees. Although she was issued a decree by the Small Claims Court Dunpark Letting Agency refuses to pay up.

Join us outside Dunpark’s Edinburgh office on Tuesday the 19th November at 1pm to support your fellow tenant and EPTAG member. Let’s send a message to letting agents that they can’t ignore the law.

Read Rosie’s full story below.

Rosie K was illegaly charged £97 by Dunpark Letting Agency (DLA) in Edinburgh when she moved into her flat in July 2012 for a credit check. At that time she knew already that fees charged by letting agencies are illegal in Scotland. Having also been charged illegal fees by her previous letting agency Rosie decided this time not to let them get away so easily. For a student, this is in the end big money.

Following the helpful advice provided on Shelter’s website Rosie embarked on a long-lasting and wearisome endeavour to reclaim her fees. She sent a formal letter to DLA to demand her money back. DLA’s reaction on her first attempt became the one she was met with time and time again in this long debacle. DLA did not respond. In fact, throughout the months to follow, DLA did not react at all to any of her actions.

After giving DLA enough time to react to her first formal letters, she took the next step by lodging a small claim which cost her another £16. The Sheriff Court sent the claim to DLA by recorded delivery, who then had the chance to defend the claim. This time DLA demonstrated actively their inactivity – DLA refused to sign for and accept the delivery of the decree. At least this inaction sped up the process at the Sheriff Court. In lack of a defending response from DLA the court issued Rosie a decree. This decree was an executive order addressed to DLA that ordered the letting agency to return Rosie the £97 (plus expenses in bringing the claim to court). With the law on her side, Rosie forwarded the decree to DLA with the result that DLA once more ignored the post and the decree.

Inquring about how to proceed at the Sheriff Office Rosie found out that she would have to pay another £58.50 for a Sheriff Officer to serve the decree. Although the costs would be recovered in a successful case, she was also informed that there is the risk of failure if DLA refused to cooperate. Given the track record of DLA’s reaction Rosie decided not to take the risk of losing more money. Discouraged by the seemingly uselessness of the local authority in enforcing the case which she had won, Rosie approached EPTAG to seek help. This is when we decided to organise a protest to support Rosie in reclaiming her fees.

 

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