Letting Agent Termination Without a Contract

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  • areynolds
    started a topic Letting Agent Termination Without a Contract

    Letting Agent Termination Without a Contract

    Hello all, I have searched the forums for the answer to my question but never quite seem to find the answer. Let me set the scene for you:

    My dear old mum rents our family home to a lovely family that have rented the property for about 5 years now. In 2016 the ATS expired and we agreed to go forward on a periodic tenancy to avoid paying more letting fees. The letting agent takes about 3-4% of the rent every month for the management of the property even though the tenant pays my mum directly and will contact her directly if there is ever an issue. There is no involvement from the agent whatsoever except when a gas certificate might expire so they will send a reminder. The letting agent has recently been sold to another letting agent and I told my mum to request a copy of her contract to see the termination clause and if there was a chance to discontinue the contract if the company were ever sold. We have heard back from the letting agent today that they have no contract on file between them and my mum who also doesn't have a record, so we assume that one was never signed. As no contract was ever signed, how can we go about cancelling the contract and taking over the tenancy and stop paying the letting fees? To make things slightly sensitive, the letting agents are my mums old neighbours so she wants this to be handled amicably, even though they have sold now they may still work for the company in some capacity, but also wants to be firm and assured in her approach. What are your guys thoughts on ending a letting agent contract where no contract was ever signed and have you had experience in this?

    I really appreciate your input, thank you

    Alex

  • jpkeates
    replied
    There's a contract of some kind because there's clearly some kind of arrangement and fees are being paid for that arrangement, but it's verbal. It's most likely bound by the terms and conditions that were contemporary with whatever it was that began the arrangement - which was probably finding and checking the tenant.

    Most letting agent terms and conditions are pretty onerous, in that their business model is based on doing a small amount of work every now and again while maintaining a relatively small income stream as long as possible.

    I'd start by writing (old fashioned letter in an envelope) thanking the agent for their service to date and terminating the contract giving three month's notice.
    And then see what happens (include an email address so you're not actually communicating by letter thereafter).

    Hopefully, the letting agent will simply move on (saving you the trouble of googling "Foxtons case").

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