Agent Fees

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    Agent Fees

    Hello,
    We recently rented out our own house. The agents talked us into a three year fixed term with no break clause. We paid in excess of £6k to the agents . After 5 months the tenant has contacted me to say that they are leaving due to their marriage breaking down.

    The tenant is going to leave in less than 6 weeks , I can't stop him. I have made them aware that they will be liable for all costs until the property is re let, rent, council tax water etc, which they will honour however they say that the letting fee should be paid by the agents. Had we had a break clause, the agent would have re let on a pro rata basis, but it seems we must sue the tenant for the money we paid to the agent. They will disappear I am sure!

    When we discussed with the agent about what would happen if the tenant left prior to the lease end we were verbally told that they would re let on a pro rata basis, as they did on a previous let for us, (with a break clause) now they are denying this.

    What is usual if your agent gets you a tenant but the tenant does not perform, is there any comeback on the agent? seems that they convinced us to take a three year deal and advised us not to have a break clause and pocketed three years fees up front.

    If I were to take the agents to small claims for non performance what are the chances? seems greedy to me as they did very little to let in the first place!

    Thanks for any help

    #2
    emnick, I can't give you any help or advice on this one, sorry, but £6K? If there's no break clause it looks like the tenant is liable for the whole 3 years. I'm sure somebody with more knowledge than I have will help you soon.

    Comment


      #3
      Next time, 6 months max, end of.

      Sorry, hope things improve
      I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

      Comment


        #4
        What’s the agent’s role here? Are they managing or was an introduction only?

        Comment


          #5
          If the tenants are on a three year fixed term with no break clause, they're liable for the three years rent and anything else in the agreement.

          The tenants and landlord need to reach some kind of compromise agreement that doesn't leave the landlord out of pocket - otherwise, the tenants are going to be liable for a lot of money.
          When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
          Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

          Comment


            #6
            its intro only thanks

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              #7
              My agent charges less than one month's rent (including VAT) for a tenant find service.
              But I do use my own agreement.

              Comment


                #8
                So what are the Terms of your Contract with Your LA?

                Comment


                  #9
                  As jpkeates has said, the tenant is liable for the tenancy and everything that comes with it. Your best bet is to negotiate with them and get them to agree to compensate you for a reasonable period until you can relet the property.

                  You need to check the agreement you had with the agent (they are all different) but I would be surprised if you have any comeback. Their job was to introduce a tenant and they’ve done that.

                  In future, don’t sign a new tenant up for any longer than 6 months and certainly do not pay an agent £6k for introducing a tenant. I’m assuming their fee was a percentage of the first fixed term, hence their eagerness to have you and the tenant tied in for 3 years!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    On a previous let where the lady was required by her solicitors to find a bigger house (ours is 5 beds) to get a settlement from her divorce they re let on a pro rata basis. However there was a break clause. On this occasion they kind of pushed us to rent for a three year fixed term (we are away most of the year for the next two years) and not to have a break clause. They verbally told me that if it went wrong they would relet on a pro rata basis "same as last time" . They didn't inform us that if there was n break clause then we wouldn't be able to re-let on pro rata basis. So Im thinking of making a complaint as we were given a lack of /wrong information. This is also no where to be seen in their T&Cs does the property ombudsman have any powers?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      The tenant is contracted fro 3 years. There are lots of issues here.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        The trouble is proving something they agreed to verbally.

                        By all means file a complaint, but you’ll need to exhaust the company’s internal complaints procedure before any redress scheme will consider looking at it.

                        Based on the limited information we have available, I’d say it’s unlikely you’re going to get very far unless you can show that their fee wasn’t clear and/or you weren’t properly advised about the pitfalls of such a long tenancy.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          The out-come:
                          I made a complaint to the LA. This was escalated to the Property Ombudsman. I complained on two fronts. (1) That they "steered" us into a 3 year agreement, we have used them twice before and they always told us to have a break clause?? (2) They would not re- advertise the property for us. We won the second part of the claim but not the first. They said that I should pursue the tenant for any losses.

                          The LA are supposed to make notes of any calls they didn't and it was on a call that the said it was better not to have a break clause.

                          Lesson learned .......we shall always have a break clause if letting again. If we had they say they would have re-let it for us.

                          Thank you for all your posts and input

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