Why do you charge for references/admin stuff?
An innocent and basic request like a copy of your contract, a reference, a proof of address letter seems like such little trouble – why are you charging me for it? Is it not enough that I am a good customer, who pays my rent on time.
Many moons ago we provided most things free of charge, and we found that doing so resulted in many many requests. Often incurring significant effort on our part, only to find out the tenant did not really need the document or to have them re-request one a month later because they lost the previous one. These documents take substantial amount of time for us to put together, especially where we cannot send an unsigned electronic copy.
The service was standardised and for the fee of £15 you can expect both a printed copy, and an electronically scanned and emailed over copy of the document you request. Whether it is a copy of your contracts, a new reference, or a proof of address letter it takes us a similar amount of effort and time. We have to check all the details, everything.
References: are especially stressful and the most important one. Many tenants need a reference when moving into their next accommodation, and whilst it is a simple process to hand our details to Paragon FC/HomeLet/Let’sHelp or whichever other service you use. It is NOT a simple process for us to fill in their paperwork. The biggest issue is all of these companies force us to sign that if we provide false information they can sue us for their losses, so this means we have to meticulous about the information we provide – it MUST be exact. They also request lots of details that we do not have to hand, so the process involves callling them back after we have located all the information they need.
Copy of your contract: will only be requested for those who signed a paper copy, which means we have to go through the filling cabinet to find it, scan it/copy it, and email/mail it to you. If you signed an electronic copy, you’d still have it in your emails.
Proof of Residence: For these to be helpful they must be originals, signed by Kingdom Houses. We have ot make sure we get all the dates, details, and names right – then we have to pop it into an envelope and post it.
Rent Refunds: This is the trickiest one of them all. We have to make sure we are refunding the overpayment to you, it is not enough to have an email from you – someone could have hacked your email account. So now we need to meet you in person, verify your identification, then process your payment and put it on your account.
ALL of the processes above take time. The quickest it can be done is 15 minutes, the longest it can take could be 30 minutes plus (especially when we end up hand delivering the document or having to make an appointment to see you to verify your ID). This is time spent away from other tasks, tasks which are almost always screaming ut us, in the face going; Do me; DO ME; I’ve been pending for days.