Letting agent renewal fees

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    Letting agent renewal fees

    An agent found me a tenant 2 years ago and I instructed them on a find tenant only basis that also included to draft up a 12 month AST, do an inventory, right to rent checks, and reference/credit check. I requested deposit to be paid to me for me to lodge with DPS and I was to collect rent and manage my flat directly.

    My tenant was only in the UK for work for a year but he got extended so I was happy to let him stay after the fixed term and we agreed to let it roll into a periodic for the flexibility. Nothing from the agents was heard after the 12 months until now.

    My tenant gave notice and I notified agents to re-market it.

    The agent has sent me a couple of invoices for renewal of the term where I allowed it to go periodic. Their terms of business do allow them to charge an extension fee for a 'hold over' or fixed term extension this but I never signed it, my dad did unfortunately without properly understanding the contract.

    I questioned this with them citing the practice legally unfair as per Foxtons but they've said "The practice of charging renewals is not illegal and is common practice in the market. The Foxtons case highlights two areas, namely the terms being legible and the fees being notified in advance of instruction. Our terms were recreated post Foxtons/OFT and fall into line with the ruling".

    I am very confused with this, my understanding is the Foxtons case said it didn't allow agents to continue to demand renewal commission from a landlord if tenants stay on beyond the initial fixed term even if agency played no further part in arranging or managing the tenancy.

    My issue is the agent did the work to let the flat for me which I paid them for two years ago. They did no work for me ever since so why should they be paid? Interestingly my tenant emailed me to ask for advice because they've charged him a renewal fee too.

    We're not psychic. Without sight of the exact terms in question, no sensible response can be given. By that, I mean the agency agreement you have with the letting agent, and any agreement the tenant may have agreed to. Chances are for the tenant, that's only the tenancy agreement.

    The fee the agent want to charge the tenant I would think is almost certainly unfair under consumer laws, as the agent is wanting money for not having done any work, for the tenant exercising their legal right to security of tenure granted by parliament.

    In the landlord's case, it would depend on the terms, how prominent the clause was highlighted, whether the exact fee was displayed by the agent as required by law at the time etc.
    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.


      If they've not let it yet disinstruct and go elsewhere, they may drop the invoices to keep the business so'd be worth the gamble but make sure you sign new terms without renewal charges.
      <a href="http://www.manchesterpropertygroup.co.uk/" target="_blank">Manchester letting agents</a>


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