Letting Agent cancels contract a few days before it is due to end...

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    Letting Agent cancels contract a few days before it is due to end...

    Hello all, a bit of advice as to how to deal with my Letting Agent please.

    This letting agent has fully managed my property since January 2013 and the tenant gave his (1 month) notice which will see him move out this Saturday. I've had a six period week where the property has remained empty in between tenants in the past so I advertised it via three agencies to include the current one to encourage all agents to get it rented quickly.

    When the current agent was told that I had also instructed a specific agent (which I was told of through a friend), he emailed me telling me to beware, that he'd heard horror stories about them. He also said that he wasn't prepared to share keys with any other agents for viewings as he didn't want them on his premises. I thought of this as a bit precious but understandable so got two further sets of keys cut which were then issued to the other agents.

    Last week the new agent who I was warned about had a viewing whilst the current tenant was at home so access wasn't a problem. The same people viewing wanted a second viewing yesterday and I received a call from the new agent informing me that one of the keys wouldn't turn so I called with my current agent and asked if it was ok if they could provide the keys to the new agent under extenuating circumstances which they agreed.

    Today I received an email from the director of the current agency (the one who warned me off the new kids on the block) containing the following;

    I write to you formally to advise from immediate effect we have ceased management of your property and will have no further dealing with you either.

    I have taken this decision in light of what occurred yesterday and we will be writing to your tenant also to advise he must deal with you going forward.

    There's obviously nothing in the contract anywhere stating that he will not allow competitors on his premises.

    As the agent is fully managing my property (to include check in and check out inventory, management of deposit etc), how can he possibly state that he's ending our agreement a few days before the tenant is due to move out, therefore ending the actual agreement that we have?

    Apologies for the length of this message.


    Does the agreement specify a notice period for termination?


      What does your contract with them say about ending it?

      It's very likely that your agent is in breach of contract and thus liable for your loss.


        Just gone through the entire contract and there is nothing about me ending my agreement with the agent nor them ending with me though obviously there is sufficient information about an end to the contract between myself and the tenant.

        I do have an email on file still that I sent to the naughty agent before we began our agreement specifying that the deal was to include check in, inventory and check out.


          We are talkning about your Contract with MA (Terms of Business), not your contract with T (AST).

          All agents hate to compete with others, normally relates to who found the buyer and who gets the commission.



            There's nothing at all within the Terms of Business regarding competition.

            I've since emailed him the following to which he's replied that he will no longer engage with any communication (have removed the names of agents/agencies)...

            I'm obviously upset at your decision because I've paid you for a service which you are now refusing to carry out. I do not want to take legal action as I think this is a simple enough matter to solve ourselves though I would remind you of the Foxtons v OFT case should you think that legal recourse is best.

            I'd like to present you with a few facts to help persuade you to continue with what you are actually obliged to do.

            - The Terms of Business we've agreed upon contains no clause stipulating with regards to competitor agencies whatsoever so in essence you're referring to something that does not actually exist.

            - You state that you have strict rules about opposition entering your premises Is this rule personal to yourself or the whole of your office? When I called on Wednesday and explained the circumstances of the other agent unable to gain access with the keys I had cut for them, I was told by a member of your staff that it wouldn't be a problem for them to obtain the keys that you have. If your staff were aware of your strict rule, then surely I should have been told that this wasn't acceptable and I would have made alternative arrangements. I was in London on Wednesday but I have a few friends working in the area that would have done me the favour of picking up the keys from yourselves and passing them over to the other agents and then returning them afterwards.

            - When I informed your office on Wednesday 5th March that I had instructed a different agency to market the property in tandem with yourselves and that keys should be made available for them, I was not made aware of any problem. In fact this particular situation was also the case as of December 2102 and January 2013 when both yourselves and this agency were co-marketing the property and sharing one set of keys with their agents making a few visits to your office to collect and return them.

            - When I informed your office on Friday 7th March that I had also instructed this new agency to market the flat in tandem with yourselves and the other one, you appeared to take umbrage and made a comment against using them. You also made a negative further remark about them in an email sent on Monday 10th March. Why were you prepared to share keys with the first agency and not the second?

            In essence, all we are disputing is the trivial matter of who does check out of the property to compare inventories and collect the keys from the tenant so I'd like to keep the lines of communication open right now so that we can arrive at an amicable agreement and we've also got to keep in touch as you hold the tenant's deposit so at the risk of appearing redundant, please get back in touch with me as soon as possible.


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