Stuck with Letting Estate agent for Ever

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    Stuck with Letting Estate agent for Ever

    Hi,

    If someone can help.


    We wanted to let our property. The estate agent looked at it and then emailed their package and terms and business on 3rd September -
    You can see it here: {Link Removed - contains identifying details}

    We sent an email saying we like to go with one of the packages on 4th September. We sent our ids.

    On 8th September the estate agent sent their terms of business which had terms and conditions and contract to be filled in for the property e.g. if it was sole agency etc. The contract was totally blank and had no information about property or anything. We did not send the terms and conditions back to them.

    You can see it here: {Link Removed - contains identifying details)

    They started to market the property for 6 months but got no tenants. They told us to drop the price. So we wanted to go to another estate agent.

    We asked them when we could leave the contract. They said we got 24 weeks contract. We said we never signed any contract. They said they emailed the terms of business with contract which was sent on 3rd September it had 24 weeks written in it.

    They said it does not matter if we did not sign it, or that the contract did not have any information for the property.

    As we had emailed that we like to go with the package by email on the 4th September. It counts that we accepted the terms and conditions.


    Now they are saying even when the sole agency of 24 weeks finishes, we cannot come out without paying them money for all the marketing they did over the last 24 weeks.




    They are pointing to this terms and conditions in the terms of business:

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    19. SERVICE AND MARKETING COSTS

    If during the period of our Agency you withdraw from a transaction; and/or you instruct us to cease marketing your property, thus preventing us from fulfilling our contractual obligations; or prevent our ability to fully market the Property in any way, you agree to be held liable for the reasonable costs associated with the marketing of your property, that we have incurred to date. Such costs will be payable by you within 30 days of the date that you prevent us from fulfilling our contractual obligations and/or fully marketing your Property. Further details of the applicable charges can be located on our website at {removed} . Should the full fee become payable these fees will be set off against such costs and charges. Paying these costs will not release you from the period of Agency and all clauses within these Terms remain in place as agreed.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------




    I feel we are stuck for life with them. Their last email was that we cannot ever withdraw from them without paying them for marketing.

    Is this correct?

    #2
    Speak to the CAB or a solicitor

    Comment


      #3
      er... they marketed your property apparently against your wishes for an entire SIX months and you said nothing? That's not good evidence that you did not agree to appointing them. It might help if you could copy the email you sent them here word for word.

      At least they're "proud to be a member of the Property Redress Scheme" https://www.chancellors.co.uk/affili...redress-scheme

      Suggest you follow the link on the bottom of that page I've linked to and raise an official complaint.

      Comment


        #4
        If during the period of our Agency you withdraw from a transaction; and/or you instruct us to cease marketing your property, thus preventing us from fulfilling our contractual obligations; or prevent our ability to fully market the Property in any way, you agree to be held liable for the reasonable costs associated with the marketing of your property, that we have incurred to date. Such costs will be payable by you within 30 days of the date that you prevent us from fulfilling our contractual obligations and/or fully marketing your Property. Further details of the applicable charges can be located on our website at {removed}. Should the full fee become payable these fees will be set off against such costs and charges. Paying these costs will not release you from the period of Agency and all clauses within these Terms remain in place as agreed.

        The key words are in red. When the 24 weeks expire the clause will not apply and you will be free to go elsewhere without making any payment.

        Comment


          #5
          Thank you everyone for quick reply. Much appreciated.
          Concerning the clause does it make any difference they have put 'and/or'?

          Also they have 28 days notice period. Do I have to give that after the 24 weeks or can I give it within the 24 weeks so that the last day of notice is just after the 24 weeks.


          This is their terms:
          --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          2. OUR APPOINTMENT
          Our appointment as Sole or Joint Sole Lettings Agents is to market your property for our Tenant Find Only or Tenancy Management service and can only be ended if you give us or we give you 28 days written notice and such notice cannot take affect earlier than 28 days before the end of the Agency Period of this agreement. If we, or another party, have arranged a let within the Agency Period which fails to proceed to an exchange of contracts the minimum Agency Period is extended by 28 days.
          If a party we have introduced enters into a contract with you for any other property you control or have an interest in, this contract will apply unless agreed otherwise in writing by both parties.
          Our Agency Fees are calculated as the agreed percentage of the rental price and this includes any amount agreed for furnishings plus VAT.
          These Agency Fees are due upon exchange of contracts and are payable no later than the contractually agreed completion of the let (“Move in Date”).
          Following on from the initial let, when the property is re-let and you instruct us to market the property, you will do so on a Sole Lettings Rights basis.
          -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


          Thank you once again for everyone's help.

          Comment


            #6
            The contract looks like a typical patched together job.

            The basic point is this: If a contract specifies a duration for the contract, when the specified period expires the contract comes to an end.

            Comment


              #7
              I agree with LC, you may have to pay 40 per each accompanied visits though as their reasonable costs. Apart from that, I would tell them they should stop marketing at the end of 24weeks right now (whether you have 28days days or not) and invite them to sue you.
              The contract has been drafted by a moron who doesn't understand the difference between 'effect' and 'affect'.

              Comment


                #8
                I would need to study the whole contract in detail, but my initial impression from what we have is that if the contract comes to an end without the agent achieving anything nothing is payable.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Just spoke to solicitor and they said we have to pay. Just a warning to people if they go with {name removed}

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by rockinter View Post
                    Just spoke to solicitor and they said we have to pay.
                    On the basis of what you have said, I do not believe it! Of course, as I suggested above, there may be something in the contract which you have not detailed which helps the agent.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I wrote to {NAME REMOVED} estate agent about not agreeing to their cost. As we had allowed them market for the contract period.
                      Below is the response I got

                      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                      Thank you for your email.

                      The invoice dated 12/03/2021 is due as a result of the costs incurred for the services and marketing we have provided to date, following your instruction to market {ADDRESS REMOVED} to let and therefore, your agreement to our Terms of Business which were then frustrated by you following your instruction to withdraw the property from the lettings market.

                      In addition to the services and marketing charges you have been invoiced for, our work to secure a tenant for you also included us actively introducing the property to 65 applicants, providing weekly advice on the various options available to you in order to maximise interest levels and therefore maximise opportunity to secure suitable tenants (price/condition/marketing related, as these are the variable factors) and securing interest from various prospective tenants of which you did not find suitable for various reasons, such as the below examples:
                      1. (23/09/2020): Applicant did not meet {NAME REMOVED} Rent Guarantee Scheme requirements.
                      2. (07/11/2020): Applicant did not want to pay more than £1200 PCM.
                      3. (09/11/2020): Applicant did not want to agree to rent increase from £1400 to £1500 after the initial 6 months.
                      4. (23/12/2020): Applicant wanted the property unfurnished.
                      5. (20/02/2021): Applicant wanted to separate the garden from communal to private.

                      Whilst I understand that you did not find the above prospective tenants and their negotiations acceptable, the services and marketing we have provided to date are irrespective of this and as per our terms of business and as re-confirmed to you on 29/01/2021, you are liable for the reasonable costs associated with the services and marketing of your property that we have incurred to date.

                      We too do not wish this to damage our relationship resulting in not using {NAME REMOVED} for any of your other properties going forward, however I am unsure as to how this would, as I believe I have been completely transparent throughout this process, providing any relevant information and answering any questions you may have had.
                      Please do not hesitate to get in touch should you have any further questions.

                      Kind regards,

                      {NAME REMOVED}

                      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                      I still do not see how we frustrated them letting the property, just by giving termination notice. They were able to show customers till the end of the contract.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        rockinter Don't post company names / addresses / personal details please.
                        I also post as Mars_Mug when not moderating

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Without seeing the whole contract I cannot add to my comments above.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            The contract between the OP and the letting agent was probably made on 4th September when rockinter emailed the agent and said that they wanted to go with the package.
                            That was in response to the agent making an offer in the form of their standard agreement document.

                            They then sent another copy (which looks to be the same to me).
                            The OP notes that it's blank, which seems right, because it needs to be completed by the landlord and returned.

                            By not completing the document, unless there is something else in place, the period of the agency is not defined.
                            It presumably began on 4th September and ended when your notice expired.

                            Any declines and the notice itself must all have happened during the period of the agency, so as I see it, you have agreed to pay the costs incurred by the agent in attempting to let the property.

                            So you should pay up.
                            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


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                              Without seeing the whole contract I cannot add to my comments above.
                              There are two copies of the whole agreement linked in post #1 (which the moderators need to remove, so be quick!)
                              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

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