Above is a document purporting to show that O’Neill charged referencing, administrative, and where applicable guarantor fees as a condition of granting a tenancy. Any tenants who have been charged such fees within the last five years should ask for a refund, as these types of tenant fees have been illegal in Scotland since the 80s.
Checking your credit history and doing work to set up a tenancy is a service to the landlord, not to the incoming tenant – so why should the tenants be asked to pay for this service? The law specifically allows the person paying the fees to recover them for up to five years after they were charged.
Attached is an example letter you could use. If O’Neill do not refund you within 7 days, you could take them to small claims court. You could use the attached statement of claim (Box 7 on your Small Claims Form 1B). letter of claim and style for Edinburgh tenants
Illegal premiums have been successfully recovered by other tenants, and for more information and advice you could consult the Edinburgh Private Tenants Action Group (eptag), Shelter Scotland, the Govan Law Centre or Citizens Advice.