Agents fee justified?

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    Agents fee justified?

    I advertised a rental property on a free website ,and instructed an agent at the same time.I informed the agent in writing that if I found a tenant no fee would be payable to him.A tenant rang me via the website, I showed him the property which he wanted.On the day he saw it through me he received the agents property details via the post but did not contact them.The agent, aware of whom I offered the let to ,is asking for his commission because the agreement I signed with him says"you are liable to pay commission directly or indirectly if a suitable tenant is introduced through us verbally,through property detail sheets etc." This is despite the fact he did not arrange a viwing or speak to the applicant regarding the property-all contact and viewing was through the website and myself direct.Has he a case or is he trying it on.Input from anyone not watching football please.

    #2
    I don't think you have any real problem here. The tenant contacted you as a result of seeing the property on a website. The fact he was also on the agent's books seeking property is neither here nor there.

    Ask youself, did the agent introduce him? Answer No! If they get shirty just have a word with your Local Trading Standards office and ask them to speak with the agency. They should back off after that.
    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


      #3
      Simple

      It's quite simple. If:

      1. Tenant saw your ad on website and contacted you BECAUSE he saw the leaflet from the agent, then you owe the agent his fees.

      2. Tenant saw your ad on website and contacted you, then you owe the agent no fees.

      Tricky one that! How's anybody to know - only the tenant knows.

      Don't get confused by any other factors - was the agent the reason the tenant got in touch with you?
      The contents of this note are neither advice nor a definitive answer. If you plan to rely on this, you should pay somebody for proper advice.

      Comment


        #4
        If the tenant got in touch directly with the landlord without going through the agent it means the tenant found the landlord's details on the website as an agents wouldn't give the landlord's phone number on leaflets.

        Quite simple.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Jennifer_M
          If the tenant got in touch directly with the landlord without going through the agent it means the tenant found the landlord's details on the website as an agents wouldn't give the landlord's phone number on leaflets.

          Quite simple.
          I'm afraid I disagree with you Jennifer. The agent effected the introduction if it was the agent's leaflet that caused the tenant to contact the landlord. Same as if seeing the agent's For Sale board causes you to knock on the house door.
          The contents of this note are neither advice nor a definitive answer. If you plan to rely on this, you should pay somebody for proper advice.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Grange
            I'm afraid I disagree with you Jennifer. The agent effected the introduction if it was the agent's leaflet that caused the tenant to contact the landlord. Same as if seeing the agent's For Sale board causes you to knock on the house door.
            I think the point was that if the tenant contacted the LL then the details he used were from the private add. So we know for sure that the tenant did see and use the private add, there is not way of knowing if the tenant saw or was influenced by the details in the agents gumf. It would have been the same property details anyway...
            Last edited by zoe; 29-06-2006, 19:52 PM.

            Comment


              #7
              Thanks Zoe, that was my point.

              Comment


                #8
                agents fee justified?

                Many thanks to all responses.The tenant responded to the LL direct via contact details on the website -that was how the introduction to the property was effected.The agent did not make an appointment to show the property.The tenant agreed the property was offered direct through the LL and they had no contact with the agent, other than receiving the property particulars. We presume therefore commonsense will prevail!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by zoe
                  I think the point was that if the tenant contacted the LL then the details he used were from the private add. So we know for sure that the tenant did see and use the private add, there is not way of knowing if the tenant saw or was influenced by the details in the agents gumf. It would have been the same property details anyway...
                  Sorry to flog a dead horse, but I disagree, as previously stated. There is indeed no way of knowing whether the agent's leaflet influenced the tenant - other than by asking the tenant. The tenant presumably wishes to keep in with the LL so no doubt will claim not to have been influenced by the leaflet... perhaps he's been offered a box of chocolates to confirm this?

                  I continue to be certain that if the catalyst for contacting the LL was the receipt of the agent's leaflet then the agent is owed his fees. That contact was made via the website (potentially in full knowledge that it would save the LL some money, and therefore for a cheaper rent) is irrelevant. I have a sneaking suspicion that this may be close to the truth...
                  The contents of this note are neither advice nor a definitive answer. If you plan to rely on this, you should pay somebody for proper advice.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Grange
                    Sorry to flog a dead horse, but I disagree, as previously stated. There is indeed no way of knowing whether the agent's leaflet influenced the tenant - other than by asking the tenant. The tenant presumably wishes to keep in with the LL so no doubt will claim not to have been influenced by the leaflet... perhaps he's been offered a box of chocolates to confirm this?

                    I continue to be certain that if the catalyst for contacting the LL was the receipt of the agent's leaflet then the agent is owed his fees. That contact was made via the website (potentially in full knowledge that it would save the LL some money, and therefore for a cheaper rent) is irrelevant. I have a sneaking suspicion that this may be close to the truth...

                    Regardless the agent cannot proove anything of the kind and cannot charge.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Grange
                      Sorry to flog a dead horse, but I disagree, as previously stated. There is indeed no way of knowing whether the agent's leaflet influenced the tenant - other than by asking the tenant. The tenant presumably wishes to keep in with the LL so no doubt will claim not to have been influenced by the leaflet... perhaps he's been offered a box of chocolates to confirm this?

                      I continue to be certain that if the catalyst for contacting the LL was the receipt of the agent's leaflet then the agent is owed his fees. That contact was made via the website (potentially in full knowledge that it would save the LL some money, and therefore for a cheaper rent) is irrelevant. I have a sneaking suspicion that this may be close to the truth...
                      How did the tenant find the landlord's phone number and contacted the landlord directly without talking to the agents?
                      Don't tell me he received the leaflet from the agent and then scoured the Internet in the hope that he'd find a private advert !

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Jennifer_M
                        How did the tenant find the landlord's phone number and contacted the landlord directly without talking to the agents?
                        Don't tell me he received the leaflet from the agent and then scoured the Internet in the hope that he'd find a private advert !
                        No, OP clearly stated that tenant had found the details on the net first of all. (Personally I probably would see if I could contact the LL directly upon finding a house to let. KNowing agents charge about 4-6 weeks' rent for an introduction, it might be well worth my while.) However...

                        I can similarly imagine idly browsing the web and noticing a property to let. Then thinking 'must be a dodgy landlord to be letting it privately'. Then the agent's particulars drop through the door with a nice shiny photograph, clear details etc, at which point I change my mind and go back on the net to find out the details - in the hope of two weeks' free rent. Not so black and white, is it?
                        The contents of this note are neither advice nor a definitive answer. If you plan to rely on this, you should pay somebody for proper advice.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Why would you be browsing a landlord's letting website if you think that landlords letting directly are dodgy?
                          If you are browsing for agents advertising you go on the agent's website or a site like Rightmove where professionals advertise.

                          And likewise why would a landlord bother taking on a tenant giving free rent to avoid paying a fee to the agent? He wouldn't be gaining any money and would have to do all the work himself.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Jennifer_M
                            Why would you be browsing a landlord's letting website if you think that landlords letting directly are dodgy?

                            To gain a feel for the market.

                            And likewise why would a landlord bother taking on a tenant giving free rent to avoid paying a fee to the agent? He wouldn't be gaining any money and would have to do all the work himself.
                            You're obviously not a LL. If you rent a house at £1000 per month, and the agent's finding fee is a month's rent, then going to WH Smith and getting hold of a standard tenancy agreement and filling it in and signing it will save you £1,000.

                            If a potential tenant said 'Hi, I've just been into Grabbit & Plunder and saw that 9 Acacia Avenue is up for let. I could rent it through the agent, or we could split the £1,000 you'll save if I forget the agent.' I'd give him 2 weeks free, wouldn't you?
                            The contents of this note are neither advice nor a definitive answer. If you plan to rely on this, you should pay somebody for proper advice.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Yes but that's assuming a lot of things isn't it?

                              Comment

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