Help to understand letting agent contract termination clauses

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    Help to understand letting agent contract termination clauses

    I am a first time landlord. Appreciate anyone's help on the interpretation of the termination clauses for my fully managed let property. The tenancy agreement started in 2017 for 1 year and then went into periodic to now. Tenancy is still active.

    The current contract is quite explicit that termination can only be done when the tenancy terminate. I have been asked to sign a new contract which says "Where we supply a Full Management service you may terminate our service by giving us 3 months’ notice in line with the tenancy term." I don't quite understand ".....in line with the tenancy term". Please see below for details on the clauses.

    the current contract (signed in 2017) says :

    "Unless otherwise agreed in advance, our appointment as managing agents is for the duration of the tenancy (and any renewal or extension). Renewal commission will become due to "the letting agent name" in respect of renewals, extensions and holdovers or new agreements where the original Tenant remains in occupation. This means that the termination of contract can only be when the current Tenant leaves the property"

    the new contract (which I haven't signed yet) says :

    Termination of Agreement
    1. a) This Agreement shall remain in force for the duration of the tenancy term.
    2. b) We may terminate this Agreement at any time by giving you 3 months written notice.
    3. c) Where we supply a Full Management service you may terminate our service by giving us 3 months’ notice in line with the tenancy term. Your liability for all outstanding fees/charges will become due upon termination.
    You have 14 days Right to Cancel from the date of signing this contract.

    #2
    Sign new agreement then cancel a week later. Job done.

    Comment


      #3
      If I do that, would it just fall back to the current agreement ?

      Comment


        #4
        I would suggest that you go back to the agent and advise them that you would like the second term (we may terminate this agreement at any time) to be mutual.
        It's likely that the third clause is unfair because the contract is so loaded in favour of the agent.

        It's very difficult for agents to enforce terms that are dependent on something outside the control of both parties to a contract if the landlord really fights.
        When someone signs a contract they are meant to be able to understand what they're signing up to, and if the term of the contract is in someone else's hands, they can't.
        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


          #5
          jpkeates, thanks for your input. I could go back to the agent to ask for clarification on the third clause and/or as you suggested request them to amend "terminate this agreement at any time" to be mutual (they may not agree though). The reason I haven't done that yet is I thought there may be a chance that they may withdraw the new agreement. In such case, I will be stuck with I can only terminate when the tenant leaves the property. If I could find out what "..... in line with the tenancy term" really means in the 3rd clause to my favour, then I would just sign the new agreement, and then give them 3 month's notice to terminate.

          Comment


            #6
            It doesn't make any sense to me either.
            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).

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              #7
              Agree with jpkeates - it seems odd the tenant can give you one months notice and you can give the tenant 2 months notice but you must give the agent 3 months notice in which case the agent charging for services which have not been supplied would be a breach of the Consumer Rights Act. Also from LJ Denning the more unreasonable a clause is, the greater the notice which must be given of it.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by cymro123 View Post
                it seems odd the tenant can give you one months notice and you can give the tenant 2 months notice but you must give the agent 3 months notice
                But the agreement also ends without notice when the tenancy ends

                Comment


                  #9
                  Just give the Agent 3 month Notice now, as specified in your current mutual Contract. A standard Clause for most Agents.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by cymro123 View Post
                    Agree with jpkeates - it seems odd the tenant can give you one months notice and you can give the tenant 2 months notice but you must give the agent 3 months notice in which case the agent charging for services which have not been supplied would be a breach of the Consumer Rights Act. Also from LJ Denning the more unreasonable a clause is, the greater the notice which must be given of it.
                    Very valid point. I think I will just ask the agent to clarify.

                    Mariner, 3 months notice is provisioned in the new agreement which I have been asked to sign, which I haven't signed yet. Because it says "..... 3 months notice in line with the tenancy terms" and I amount not sure what they meant by "in line with the tenancy terms".

                    Comment


                      #11
                      The 'in line with the tenancy terms' is probably referring to the period of the tenancy e.g. If the period of the tenancy is 6th-5th then your notice would need to be at least 3 months and end on 5th of a month - that is what I suspect anyway

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