Paying agency intro fee every year

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    #16
    Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
    What does 'fiduciary duty' mean, please?
    A fiduciary duty is a set of obligations owed by, amongst others, agents, lawyers, company directors, business partners, trustees and religious ministers to their client/shareholders/partners/beneficiaries/devotees (AKA "the fiduciary").

    Broadly speaking, it encompasses a duty of loyalty and trust, an obligation not to make secret profits or accept bribes, and (relevant to this case), an obligation not to allow their own interests to conflict with those of the fiduciary, or, a fortiori, act contrary to the fiduciary's interests.

    <Edit> As a matter of procedure, it is probably not, strictly speaking, necessary to sue for breach of fiduciary duty in this case, and to do so would, to some extent, be "kitchen sink" pleading. This is because fiduciary duties are equitable constructs, and because (a) the court could not order any appropriate equitable relief in this case (an injunction would be completely ineffective and no money has come into the LA's hands in respect of which the court could order "tracing"), and (b) the claimant LL would have a remedy at common law by way of an action for damages for breach of contract.
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    I try my best to be accurate, but please bear in mind that some posts are written in a matter of seconds and often cannot be edited later on.

    All information contained in my posts is given without any assumption of responsibility on my part. This means that if you rely on my advice but it turns out to be wrong and you suffer losses (of any kind) as a result, then you cannot sue me.

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      #17
      Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
      The argument is that the agent is actually charging you for doing nothing. What landlords are doing to get round it is to serve Notice on the agent to end their contract. They in turn will probably serve Notice on the tenant but you will have to approach the tenant to undertake a new AST after the current one expires. Make sure you leave a gap from the end of the current tenancy before drawing up a new one.
      I was advised by a solicitor (and the agent) that if I give notice to my tenant, the agent fee stops as the contract ends. However, if I get the tenant back in again, any time at all, even under a new contract, the renewal fee starts again because I am still earning money from the initial introduction the agent made. (FYI: could not do this on the sly even if I wanted to as his office is opposite the flat!!)

      A Further question on same:
      I went on the OFT site to find out whether the Foxton case has concluded or moved on but ended up talking to ConsumerDirect.Gov.UK. They did not claim this is their field, however, suggested I write to the agent with regard the Supply, Goods & Services Act 1982, asking him to list what he does every year for this fee. My argument would be that he does nothing and therefore would have a case in court under the abovementioned act.

      I feel this would be a waste of time as it is barking up the wrong 'Act' but would anyone know if this would be worth trying?

      Comment


        #18
        Originally posted by PML View Post
        My tenant took my flat in February, four years ago. I have had to pay an introductory fee to the introducing agent every year... I have just had my accounts done and I made a loss of £3,800 last year so Im really worried about Feb's fee. Can anyone advise?
        This year, I have no job (for months now), my husband's is threatened, due to a necessary remortgage two years ago, the rent barely covers the mortgage premium and my savings are virtually gone to pay for daily living (like many out there in this economic climate, no doubt.) Last year I did ask the A if I could pay this off monthly via DD but he said no and we agreed to two payments a couple of months apart. Figuring he will respond in the same way this year, does anyone know if I could still pay this fee off by DD, regardless of the agent's preference. As I would still be paying, and my records/statements would show this, he would not have a case in court for non payment? Or am I clutching at straws... seeing as they are all I have at the moment?

        Comment


          #19
          If 'DD' means Direct Debit, you're slightly mistaken. What you set-up was more likely a Standing Order.
          See http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...ad.php?t=14650.
          JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
          1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
          2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
          3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
          4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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            #20
            Paying the Intro fee over 12 months

            Yes, I did mean direct debit or standing order, my point was, does anyone know whether one can pay the intro fee over 12 months, rather than in one or two massive payments, even if the A does not want me to pay it in such small payments. I cannot see a way out of paying this fee so really need to know whether he could take me to court for paying it in small installments. As long as Im paying the fee, would he have a right to argue?

            Comment


              #21
              Originally posted by PML View Post
              Yes, I did mean direct debit or standing order
              No, you didn't. Direct Debits are almost not within your legal ability; so you meant only Standing Order. You know the difference?
              JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
              1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
              2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
              3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
              4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

              Comment


                #22
                As a tenant for 5 years now I have always had to pay the "renewal fee" of around £85, which is daylight robbery if you ask me!! All they do is amend the dates on the old one and give you a copy ...

                However I have never been able to pay it off in one go as Im on benefits and did ask the agents if I could pay a bit every month, firstly they refused saying I had to pay 2 large sums a month apart so I told them if they want the money I will pay every month- thats the only way they will get it. Guess what? I pay them every month over 12 months.

                I have refused to pay the last lot as its a liberty and they do nothing to earn it (also cant afford it!!!) its about time they got rid of the so called "renewal fee"

                Comment


                  #23
                  Originally posted by firefly View Post
                  As a tenant for 5 years now I have always had to pay the "renewal fee" of around £85, which is daylight robbery if you ask me!! All they do is amend the dates on the old one and give you a copy ...

                  However I have never been able to pay it off in one go as Im on benefits and did ask the agents if I could pay a bit every month, firstly they refused saying I had to pay 2 large sums a month apart so I told them if they want the money I will pay every month- thats the only way they will get it. Guess what? I pay them every month over 12 months.

                  I have refused to pay the last lot as its a liberty and they do nothing to earn it (also cant afford it!!!) its about time they got rid of the so called "renewal fee"
                  Really, there's no legal obligation on you as T (whether by law or by contract) to pay any such fee.
                  JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                  1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                  2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                  3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                  4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                  Comment


                    #24
                    Hi Jeffrey

                    Well the contact was meant to be renewed last September but they refuse to renew or should I say give me the contract until I pay the renewal fee.

                    Thank you for your advice, I have been wondering whether this is legal or not for a while as the LL also apparently pays this fee.

                    Comment


                      #25
                      Originally posted by firefly View Post
                      The contact was meant to be renewed last September but they refuse to renew or should I say give me the contract until I pay the renewal fee.

                      Thank you for your advice, I have been wondering whether this is legal or not for a while as the LL also apparently pays this fee.
                      Remember that the Agent is L's agent (not yours); so only L should be doing the paying.
                      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                      2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                      Comment


                        #26
                        Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                        Remember that the Agent is L's agent (not yours); so only L should be doing the paying.
                        I thought that Tenants being forced to pickup renewal costs for ASTs was fairly common place? So even with private tenancies the Landlord should be paying the cost of the renewal and not the tenant? What happens if they have a contractual obligation in the AST?
                        [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

                        Comment


                          #27
                          Originally posted by MrJohnnyB View Post
                          I thought that Tenants being forced to pickup renewal costs for ASTs was fairly common place? So even with private tenancies the Landlord should be paying the cost of the renewal and not the tenant? What happens if they have a contractual obligation in the AST?
                          Aha. The AST is between L and T, is it not, so T's obligations are owed to L (not to Agent A).
                          Not being a party, A cannot enforce the AST personally unless the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 applies.
                          JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                          1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                          2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                          3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                          4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                          Comment


                            #28
                            Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                            Aha. The AST is between L and T, is it not, so T's obligations are owed to L (not to Agent A).
                            Not being a party, A cannot enforce the AST personally unless the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 applies.

                            Very interesting, thank you!

                            Comment


                              #29
                              But surely the Landlord could just insert a clause which states something along the lines of "to pay the landlord or his agents any reasonable costs involved in renewing the tenancy agreement" I don't know much about residential property so am simply speculating! I guess its just a case of reading the AST, as I deal with soley commercial property I always am fairly keen to learn more about residential property so thank you for your insight!
                              [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

                              Comment


                                #30
                                Yes. If it reads "To pay L", L can enforce it.
                                The point was simply that, if it read "To pay A", A usually cannot enforce it.
                                JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                                1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                                2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                                3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                                4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                                Comment

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