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May 14, 2018 | by  | in Opinion Presidential Address |
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Presidential Address

What the fuck are letting fees? You may have seen this question around the university and it’s a darn good one. I’ve got an answer — letting fees are an absolute rip off.

If you’re renting, chances are you’ve had to pay a letting fee whenever you’ve signed a new flat. A letting fee will often be one week’s rent, and some property managers even add GST on to that, despite them not actually providing you with goods or a service. The reason property managers charge you a letting fee is to cover the costs of signing an agreement. This is bullshit because those costs should be paid by the landlord, as it is the landlord who has hired the property manager to look after their property. The tenant should not be responsible for any property management related costs, as we are already paying for use of the property through rent.

So if the property manager is providing the landlord a service, not you, then why would they ask you to pay a letting fee? I’ll let you be the judge of that, but earlier statement of “letting fees are an absolute rip off” might provide a helpful hint.

We’ve lobbied against letting fees this year, along with many other organizations, and we’re really stoked that the Government has entered a bill to abolish letting fees. Despite this, we’re not over the line yet, and it’s important we follow up in the select committee process and ask for letting fees to be banned, and any property management related costs to paid for by the landlord. If you also want to see them gone, head to www.vuwsa.org.nz/rta and support our submission by filling out the form there. You’ll also be able to enter a competition to win a winter “Flat Pack”.

We’re ready to let go of letting fees — are you?

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