How long is a contract valid?

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    How long is a contract valid?

    I rent out two properties and use the same agent for both. I started renting property A in 2010 and am on the third set of tenants. The current tenants have been in there for five years. Property B has only had one set of tenants who have been in for four years. The tenants in property B were due to renew their tenancy but want to buy their own house and asked if they could change to a periodic tenancy until they move out. The agent tried to tell me the tenants were renewing for the whole year and bill me accordingly. This is not what the contract says. I have had no end of trouble with them over it and our relationship has completely broken down. I do not want to use the agent any more but they say if I terminate our agreement the tenants in property A must leave when their current tenancy agreement runs out. The only contract I've ever signed was for property A in 2010. Is that contract valid for all tenancies or should their be a new one for each new tenant and property? It seems a bit harsh for the tenants to have to suffer as I know they will find it very difficult to find another property.

    #2
    Originally posted by 37eeyore View Post
    ...they say if I terminate our agreement the tenants in property A must leave when their current tenancy agreement runs out.
    Total nonsense. To get colloquial, in no way, shape or form is that the case.

    To answer the question posed in the thread title, when it comes to assured shorthold tenancies, if a fixed term expires then the periodic tenancy which follows is (with exceptions not relevant to your question) on the same terms as the fixed term tenancy no matter how long the periodic tenancy goes on for.

    Comment


      #3
      Are your tenancy agreement with the current tenants?

      Or are they some kind of rent guarentee agreement with the agent?

      If the former, you can just cut the agent out without changing anything.

      If the latter, you can also just cut the agent out and form another agreement with tenants without them moving out.

      Comment


        #4
        Sorry, maybe the title was misleading. I no longer have the tenants I signed the contract for. The original contract states the address of property A. I don't think I ever signed a contract for property B. When the original tenants in property A moved out, should I have signed a new contract for the new tenants or does the original contract cover all properties and all tenancies?

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          #5
          The tenancy agreements are arranged through a letting agent. The original contract says I have to pay them an annual fee for as long as the tenant is in the property.

          Comment


            #6
            An agent can’t force you to evict your tenants and nor can they force you to keep using their services.

            They may be able to charge you an exit fee and they may be able to charge you for a renewal, but it depends very much on the wording and whether or not the term in your agency agreement is fair (only a judge can say for sure).

            The way you’ve explained it, it’s unlikely to be fair.

            Comment


              #7
              This is the wording in the contract.

              TENANCY RENEWAL/EXTENSION: Where the initial fixed term tenancy is renewed or extended for a further period a fee will be payable to the Agent at a rate of 8% + VAT on the contractual rent for the extended period. Where the tenancy becomes periodic a fee of 8% + VAT of the monthly rent will be charged throughout the period the tenant remains in the property.

              They are holding me to that and say the tenant will have to leave. That's why I wondered if the original contract was valid for the new tenant.

              Comment


                #8
                What does the agreement say about terminating it?

                Does the agent manage the property or collect rent.
                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


                  #9
                  They don't manage the property or collect rent. Once a year they ask me for a new gas certificate and if I want to renew the tenancy.

                  Termination
                  1. It is agreed that the Landlord and the Agent should provide not less than two months notice in writing to terminate this agreement at any time.
                  2. That this agreement may be terminated without notice where the Agent or the Landlord considers the other to be acting outside of the law and placing a party to this Agreement or the tenant at risk.
                  3.Charges may be payable by the Landlord if the Agreement is terminated early (please see Fees Schedule)
                  4. Cancellation Fee: Where the Landlord terminates instructions during the term of a current tenancy the Management Fee will be payable until the end of the tenancy period or six months whichever is the minimum.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Give the agent notice and pay the fees.
                    That's the agreement you entered into.

                    You probably need the agent working with you to sort out the transfer of any deposit and get copies of paperwork.
                    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


                      #11
                      So am I right in thinking you’ve paid them 8% of your total rent for the last 5 years? Even though they don’t manage or collect the rent?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I actually pay 5% because they reduced the fees but yes I pay them every year even though they don't manage or collect rent.
                        The contract seems to say two things. One, that I have to pay them while the tenant lives there and two, that I can give two months notice. They are telling me that I can terminate the agreement but that the tenant must then move out. I'm not sure what the termination fees are as they never gave me the fees schedule.
                        What I really want to know is if the contract is transferable to the new tenant or should I have signed a new one.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          They are just wrong about the tenant having to move out, so you can forget that (or ask them how that's meant to happen, then?)
                          I'd just give them notice, they've earned enough for doing nothing.

                          You do need to consider what you'll do if you have a tenant leave and you want to get a new one in.

                          The agreement with the agency will say if it transfers or covers all your properties or how it works.
                          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


                            #14
                            There's not much point giving them notice at the moment as the tenant in property B is moving out. The tenancy for property A doesn't end until next July and I've already paid the agent for the year.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              You keep saying "the contract". By that, do you mean the contract between you and the letting agent? That has nothing to do with the tenant.

                              The tenancy agreement the tenants have, does it state that you are the landlord, or does it say the agent?
                              I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

                              Comment

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