Agency fees for altering a lease

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  • Agency fees for altering a lease

    One of my housemates has just moved out. His name was on the lease along with 4 other names. He wants to take his name of the lease and replace it with a different name (that of our new flatmate), but our contract does not expire until December 2010. There is nothing in the lease regarding any charges for a change of names or addition of a name to the property. We spoke to the property management company, and they want to charge us a fee of £380 to make alterations to the lease (pretty much telling us that if someone leaves the house the lease is broken so they will have to draw up a completely new one). This cost seems excessive to me. All of the housemates are from Australia so don’t know the London rental system very well, and we’re worried the property company is trying to take advantage of us. Could someone tell me if it’s normal for an agency to charge that much?

    Thanks so much!

  • #2
    Sounds extortionate for just removing a name on a tenancy agreement.
    Is there any provision in the agreement for charging such a fee?
    Is the tenancy a joint AST?

    Remember that the agreement is between the tenants and the landlord (not the landlord's agent). Is the property management company and the landlord one and the same, or does the company act as an agent for the landlord?

    Also, providing the agreement is an AST, and all parties (tenants and landlord) agree, then a new agreement is not required, as a Deed of Assignment could be used, which assigns the tenancy from the existing tenants to the replacement tenants.
    The information in my posts is provided 'as is'. This is not intended to be legal advice. Legal or other professional advice should be sought before acting or relying on this information or any part of it. I will not be held responsible for loss or damage arising from errors in the information or the way in which a person uses the information on this . For more information on your query use the '' link at the top of this page. Agreements, Forms & Notices can be found .

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    • #3
      I agree that this sounds like daylight robbery and I would definitely question whether the LL is aware of how his tenants are being fleeced here. Even if the agents did have to 'draw up' a whole new tenancy agreement, this would still only involve getting a standard template up on a computer screen, changing one name to another and printing it off. It is hardly the Magna Carta.

      My son was charged £216 for the same thing and we thought that was extortionate. £380 is ridiculous.

      No doubt they would charge the same or more for a Deed of Assignment, though.

      Sharks.
      'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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      • #4
        Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
        No doubt they would charge the same or more for a Deed of Assignment, though.
        That would render them liable to criminal prosecution.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
          That would render them liable to criminal prosecution.
          Yes.
          Other members: Lawcruncher is referring to the rule of law that only a solicitor or other accredited legal professional can prepare conveyancing documents for a fee. For L's Letting Agent to do so would be a criminal offence.
          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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