Being charged a fee to renew a domain name

I’ve got a .com domain that expired on the 1st April, I’ve tried to renew the domain but the registrar say there is a charge of £40 + a years renewal.

I’ve read somewhere online that there shouldn’t be a fee until the domain have been expired for 7 days?

Can anyone tell me which is correct?

My understanding is that if a domain expires, it goes into lockdown for a period (one month?), after which time anyone can grab it. I may be wrong about that, but if you need the domain and it’s being offered before going public, I’d grab it.

ICANN | Life Cycle of a Typical gTLD Domain Name

Some registrars will charge a different fee from the regular one to rescue a domain from the grace period. Others will give you a time to renew at the normal price, but after a while (which may be shorter than 30 days) will charge you a so called redemption fee plus the regular domain registration fee. In other words, policies and fees may differ.

Technically an expired domain is no longer yours, so be careful. From what I read some registrars will place it for auction at some point during the 30 days grace period.

Were I you I would just pay the fee to get the domain back. At least you have the option. Something similar happened to me a while back with a domain I had with Network Solutions and they wouldn’t even let me pay anything. They just told me someone had it backordered and tough luck pretty much. Took me years to get the domain back once I had backordered it. After you have your domain I would make sure to have it set to renew automatically or something. I register my domains with 1and1 and don’t have to worry about it, they send me a notice and just bill me automatically.

a week (till now) that is not huge delay at all. I believe you can contact ICANN for this and ask them what to do.
Looks like your provider playing using own rules.

The charges vary from registrar to registrar… However each registrar must adhere to ICANN rules and regulations… Better try to resolve it with your registrar at the earliest or contact ICANN