Agents demanding renewal fee

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    Agents demanding renewal fee

    Hi, I rent out a flat I lived in before I moved in with my husband so am
    am not a clued up full time landlord. I am having a dispute with {Mod - name removed} at the moment and am desperate to find out whether they are entitled to £4700 "renewal commission".

    The circumstances are that I engaged them in 2011 as tenant find but they
    insist on collecting rent also for the fee. They contract was a 2 year term and they received all their commission up front. The tenancy terminated on May 5th and tenants happy to move out as they were considering moving back to Holland (they are Dutch). As the property needed extensive roof repairs I arranged for these to be carried out once they moved out as due to the
    nature of the repair it was not suitable for the property to be inhabited
    during that time. After these were completed my Mother used the property
    for a short while as a "pied a terre".

    After a period of approx 4 weeks my Mother found a suitable alternative
    and the property became available for rental once again. I contacted the previous tenants to see if they were still leaving the country and they
    advised me that they wanted to stay a while longer and would love to move back in but did not wish to deal through {Mod - name removed} ( I should mention that I had been allowing them access to collect their post during the time the property was vacant also).

    The tenants have now moved back in under a differently worded contract
    which I purchased through an online forum and the contract is for 12
    months only with a 6 month break clause (which they may wish to take up
    as the move back to their home country is still a possibility for the
    future.

    {Mod - name removed} have contacted me and said that they are entitled to a 2 year
    renewal commission as the tenants did not permanently vacate the property. I am very surprised as I did not think that with such a break in the
    contract I would be obliged to pay them commission, especially for 2
    years!

    I wondered whether anyone else had had a similar experience and what the outcome was as surely there must come a point where you are allowed to
    terminate the services of an agent, and if the tenant has moved out
    (whether or not they come back at later date) why should this be any of
    their business?

    Any advice in this regard would be much appreciated as despite providing them with utility bills in my name from the date of termination they are still insistent that their invoice stands and have advised that they now want to take it to their solicitors and charge me the fee for doing so.

    Thank you!

    Cathy

    #2
    I think it's an attempt to scare some money out of you Cathy. Tell them to go ahead and sue.
    To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

    Comment


      #3
      Agents Demanding Renewal fee

      Thanks, but if they do will I be liable for their legal fees and is it likely they will take me to court ultimately? Any advice welcome!
      Cathy

      Comment


        #4
        You really need to look at the contract you agreed with them. Or maybe easier, reply back denying that you owe them anything but inviting them (if they disagree) to show you where you have agreed to this fee.

        I suspect there may be room to argue 'unfair term' even if it is covered by the agency agreement.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by ct3279 View Post
          Thanks, but if they do will I be liable for their legal fees and is it likely they will take me to court ultimately? Any advice welcome!
          Cathy
          Usually the agent will lose as they cannot bind you to an indefinite contract, and from what you say you don't owe them anything. £4,700 is ridiculous and I doubt if any judge would see it the agent's way. I think you have to be brave and not be bullied by this.

          Contact your local Trading Standards Office and they might well intervene, as it is a potentially unfair term.
          The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by ct3279 View Post
            Thanks, but if they do will I be liable for their legal fees and is it likely they will take me to court ultimately? Any advice welcome!
            Cathy
            I don't think so. A claim for £4700 would be on the small claims track. The judge would only award costs against you if you both lost, and he thought you had been unreasonable.
            To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

            Comment


              #7
              Agents Demanding Renewal fee

              Thank you for your response - I think you may be right but am just a little scared to do that in case they charge me the legal fees they are threatening to

              Cathy

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by JK0 View Post
                I don't think so. A claim for £4700 would be on the small claims track. The judge would only award costs against you if you both lost, and he thought you had been unreasonable.
                Thank you - the replies I have received are helping to alleviate some of my anxiety - I think they are trying to harrass and bully me in to paying up

                Comment


                  #9
                  Agents Demanding Renewal fee

                  Thanks to everyone that has responded to my post - you have all really helped - I will let you know how I get on! All the best, Cathy x

                  Comment

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