I desperately need some advice please.
Since 2017, I have been with a large estate agents in Oxfordshire. I now want to terminate the contract and am giving the appropriate notice of 3 months. However the Agent is claiming that I have to pay 7% + VAT for tenancy management for the current Tenant until she moves out. Just to make it clear, I will not be receiving any services from this estate agent in any shape or form once their services are terminated. The Tenant is in her 5th year and may wish to continue to live there for another 10 years. They haven’t done a particularly good job.
I have looked at the contract and it states the following:
“The tenancy management service and the fees payable continue for tenants we have introduced throughout the entire original period of the tenancy agreement and any renewal of it or for its extension by any form of periodic tenancy (this therefore includes but is not limited to any period when the tenant we have introduced remains in the residence).”
Any ideas how to free myself of this clause?
Any advice would be gratefully received.
I’m my experience EA will often allow release of contract in this instance for 1 months rent.
This amounts to a finders fee. (Which you may have already paid!)
I would talk to the branch lettings manager, not staff.
It will be hard for anyone to give a complete answer without seeing the whole contract.
It may be possible to terminate the contract IE give a section 21 and then create a new AST.
Others on here may be able to confirm this.
you have not read this when you signed . They have stitched you up. You could have got it removed and then signed . A bit late now.They could enforce this unless you can reason with them
These kind of clauses are ridiculous, classed as unfair even?
Check if member of an association, and they must be registered with a redress scheme, then check member requirements of that scheme.
Thanks Mark10. I was wondering about asking the tenant to give notice at the end of her term and then possibly giving her a free month, then signing her up on new terms with OpenRent.
If she puts in a request to end her tenancy then surely I can start her up again after 1 clear month using whoever I want?
I’m in no way legally qualified, an agent knows this is a bull**** clause and he doesn’t really want to pursue it, but neither would a LL want to take the risk that they will. They may have experience and deep pockets.
Personally I would try to negotiate once you are informed of their associations and/or redress schemes policies, which they may be in breach of.
Another angle is have the agent breached the contract in any way?
Having spoken to someone over the phone at the EA, looks like I may have to speak to the tenant, who is very reasonable and come to some agreement that way, thanks everyone…
Just because you end the tenancy and re-sign the tenant doesn’t get you out of paying. It’s still the tenant they introduced, new tenancy or not. They could take you to court for it and I suspect they would win.
I know it might not seem fair, but you signed the contract, so are stuck with it unless you can negotiate you way out of it.
There was a case a few years back (Foxtons) about renewal commission where the agent was not managing the property, but I don’t think that would apply to this.
Not sure terminating the existing tenancy and signing up the same tenant in the same residency would help if the above applies.
It could be a lot of extra hassle/work for you for nothing.
I would agree to try and negotiate your way out if it and you also say they are have not been very good, so maybe this could be a reason if they don’t play ball?
Surely there must be some escape point based on your consumer rights. It is like holding ransom. Need to speak to the gentleman who gives advise on LBC radio! May be a quick call to trading standards.
Update: looks like there is this which might help: The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999
Clauses that require you to pay as long as the tenant occupies the property are deemed to be unfair and uninforceable by the Office of Fair Trading. A reasonable fee structure for introduction is either a one off introduction fee or a monthly fee for the fixed term period only.
You are a star! Thank you. I shall challenge tomorrow after some more reading.
Please let us know how you get on so that we can move this experience with us forward. Thank you
If it were me, I wouldn’t bother challenging the letting agent. I would just give them a months notice and stop any further payments. Do some of your own research or may be contact the OFT directly. A contracts terms have to be fair and reasonable to both parties or it can’t be enforced.
The OFT was closed down in 2014!
no wonder no one is answering the phone
I hadn’t realised the OFT had been shut down. I have Googled them and it appears that their responsibilities have now transferred to several different bodies. Unfair terms in a contract now fall to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
Are you certain that this issue is one on which the former OFT ruled? I havent had tome to check. If not, a challenge would be a risk and potentially legally expensive.