Tenancy Renewal Charges Again

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  • Tenancy Renewal Charges Again

    I've read all the threads (I think!) on this old chestnut, but it seems that nothing has changed or is changing.
    I am a landlord holding out against the letting agent's charges of 8% of the annual rent (over £1000 + VAT, in this case) to renew the tenancy. I've used every argument against them..not needed as will become 'periodic' tenancy.. unfair clause..money for nothing etc. etc., but they will not budge except to reduce the percentage to 7% saying that I signed up to the terms (which I did).
    I've contacted Office of Fair Trading and they were unhelpful, telling me to contact ARLA, but I'd have to pay to join them and they probably can't help anyway. I've also been in touch with the local trading standards officer who thinks this is unfair, but that it is an issue between traders (I think Esio Trot pointed this out on a previous thread) and suggested a solicitor. He also asked about ways of bypassing this (again discussed on the thread by gingerlion and others).
    I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to capitulate as I now have two weeks to pay before they start to fine me, but it is unfair practice.
    Has anyone else any more up to date information or ideas or dodges? Anything gratefully received.

  • #2
    We have removed all our properties from all of the agents we were using and now manage them ourselves plus other disgruntled landlords.

    We have had a monumental battle with some of them and are winning.

    Just because you have signed a document it doesn't necessary mean that the terms and conditions are binding. Look at the current bank charges situation; they have to be reasonable.

    You can write to ARLA and complain about the agent if they belong to them. Remember though, they are there to represent the agent's interest as he pays the membership.

    The terms and conditions are designed to prevent you from ever moving to another agent - sorry letting agents on this forum - the best time is when the current tenant leaves.

    I've no doubt you are going to receive a mountain of advice on this one.

    rewop
    If you are not offended by what I say then please tell me so that I can try harder next time.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Goyambokka View Post
      I've read all the threads (I think!) on this old chestnut, but it seems that nothing has changed or is changing.
      I am a landlord holding out against the letting agent's charges of 8% of the annual rent (over £1000 + VAT, in this case) to renew the tenancy. I've used every argument against them..not needed as will become 'periodic' tenancy.. unfair clause..money for nothing etc. etc., but they will not budge except to reduce the percentage to 7% saying that I signed up to the terms (which I did).
      I've contacted Office of Fair Trading and they were unhelpful, telling me to contact ARLA, but I'd have to pay to join them and they probably can't help anyway. I've also been in touch with the local trading standards officer who thinks this is unfair, but that it is an issue between traders (I think Esio Trot pointed this out on a previous thread) and suggested a solicitor. He also asked about ways of bypassing this (again discussed on the thread by gingerlion and others).


      I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to capitulate as I now have two weeks to pay before they start to fine me, but it is unfair practice.
      Has anyone else any more up to date information or ideas or dodges? Anything gratefully received.
      Hi there

      I don't actually use agents so have not had to deal with such an issue.

      Would the simple answer not be to just change agents?

      Kind Regards

      J

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks both.
        I haven't used the agents since they set up the tenancy and I also manage the tenants myself. However, the agents have a clause in their Terms and Conditions that enables them to charge for Tenancy Renewal even if neither I nor my tenants want it.
        You are right to say it is like unfair Bank Charges, but I guess in these LL cases it affects a smaller number of people and so the impetus for change is weaker.

        Comment


        • #5
          How spooky is that rewop? We both replied at exactly the same time.

          Just a thought Goyambokka but couldn't your tenant give notice to the agent in question as if he was leaving and then sign up to a new tenancy agreement with you the minute his notice expires with the agent? Landlord could say he is dealing with his own tenancy from then on in. Could that work?

          J

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Goyambokka View Post
            Thanks both.
            I haven't used the agents since they set up the tenancy and I also manage the tenants myself. However, the agents have a clause in their Terms and Conditions that enables them to charge for Tenancy Renewal even if neither I nor my tenants want it.
            You are right to say it is like unfair Bank Charges, but I guess in these LL cases it affects a smaller number of people and so the impetus for change is weaker.

            I didn't realise that you managed them yourself. We use agents on a let only basis for ourselves and our clients; they send these renewal notices out as a matter of course. We don't charge for this; after all it's just a matter of getting a few signatures on a standard issue contract.

            Don't worry about it; tell them to go fck themselves and don't use them again. Go on places like this and tell every else not to use them.

            I once went into a letting agent who tried to stitch me up and photographed the boards with all addresses of the properties they managed. They sh1t themselves. They paid me my money pretty quick after that because they new what I would do with the information.

            rewop
            If you are not offended by what I say then please tell me so that I can try harder next time.

            Comment


            • #7
              I have to agree with the other posters. I wouldn't bother renewing your agreement with your tenants and tell the agent that you won't be using them again.

              I really can't see the agent taking you to court over it!

              Comment


              • #8
                They can and almost certainly will take you to court if you don't pay them.

                If you allow the tenancy to become periodic then tell them you will be paying the fee monthly.

                But in the end you signed a contract which allowed them to make the charge, you didn't negotiate a one-off fee, no doubt you didn't read the small print.

                You have to pay, it's as simple as that. Next time check what you are signing!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by attilathelandlord View Post
                  They can and almost certainly will take you to court if you don't pay them.

                  If you allow the tenancy to become periodic then tell them you will be paying the fee monthly.

                  But in the end you signed a contract which allowed them to make the charge, you didn't negotiate a one-off fee, no doubt you didn't read the small print.

                  You have to pay, it's as simple as that. Next time check what you are signing!
                  I have to disagree. There is so much on this website about how no matter what you sign it isn't necessarily binding if it is deemed "unfair".

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    As it falls under normal contract law, rather than consumer contract law, I doubt you could play the unfair terms card. You have made a contract with them under the term.

                    But it just seems like bad business to me FWIW.

                    A sure way to encourage LL's to walk.

                    As an aside; what a lark! most agents don't even get that for full management here... and on lower levels of rent.

                    How does one become a letting agent again?
                    Now signature free.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It is your prerogative, but "unfairness" is one thing, signing things you don't read and later disagree with is another.

                      There is nothing unfair in the term, it's just that having now to keep up their end of the bargain, the OP doesn't like it.

                      The law is not there to unmake bad bargains, the OP didn't have to go with that agency and sign their terms and conditions. Unfairness is tested in court.

                      What will the OP say to the judge when he asks why they agreed to such a term and signed to show assent and now no longer wish to honour the bargain made?

                      As ususal, it's a case of landlords spending more time with their holiday brochures than the legal aspects of what they are signing up for.

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                      • #12
                        Yes, of course, I signed it, but that still doesn't make it fair does it?
                        Yes, I do want to get out of it, but I know it's very likely that I will have to pay.
                        Making assumptions about what I do or don't read, without knowing me, or the circumstances under which I signed, is less than helpful.
                        What I am interested in, above and beyond my own personal gripe, is any up to date information or ideas about tackling this unfair practice. Has the OFT made any recent moves. So many LLs abroad, or without the benefit of this site, don't question agent's charges.
                        Anyway, thanks to all of you for your input. I'm grateful.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Goyambokka View Post
                          I am a landlord holding out against the letting agent's charges of 8% of the annual rent (over £1000 + VAT, in this case) to renew the tenancy.
                          Having just read the post again, am I seeing things??? A landlord is charged £1000 + VAT for an agent to sign a piece of paper which is most likely word processed. We charge landlords £45 + VAT only IF they insist on us entering in to a new agreement.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            No, you read it correctly. Amazing isn't it? Of course the agents are in thatlondon.

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                            • #15
                              If it was so unfair,why did you sign the agreement in the first place?

                              I'm not making assumptions, you signed something, now you have to honour it.

                              The way to escape these terms is not to sign in the first place.

                              I'd have some sympathy if they were trying to impose this if it weren't in the contract, but you signed for it it and now you want to dishonour the agreement. If anyone is being unfair it's you!

                              Think of it this way. If your tenants left and the property was empty for a month you would lose around £1000 and then possibly have £1000 agents fees on top. Think of it as a business cost to have tenants that someone else put the work into to find continously in the property is going to cost you £1000 rather than £2000.

                              IF YOU AREN'T PREPARED TO PAY THE COST OF DOING BUSINESS THEN DON'T DO THE BUSINESS IN THE FIRST PLACE.

                              I'm not totally unsympathetic, I got caught like this the first time I used agents many years ago and now I know to pay a ONE OFF finders fee and NOTHING ELSE. In my case also, it wasn't the agent being unfair , it was me being naive, same as you.

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