I have been using high street estate agent for last 2 years for my property as fully managed property. Then I decided to switch to openRent. I continued with same tenant after the end of tenancy current period. The estate agent is claiming that I have breached one of the clauses and sent me a big invoice for the charges.
The clause he is saying I broke:
5.3.24. terminate this Contract following a successful letting of the property by us and the existing tenant remains in the property under either a statutory periodic tenancy or enters into a new fixed term tenancy agreement with you, you agree to pay a fixed charge equivalent to six weeks’ rent + VAT (provided that we are not in breach of the Contract).
I don’t think I broke any clause, what do you think guys?
Yes you terminated the contracted with the original tenant in situation, meaning you owe the fee.
Yes I agree with Mark10. This issue comes up a lot. Letting Agents always have a similar clause that ties you in. 6 weeks rent +vat is one of the more reasonable clauses. I have heard of clauses that charge a lot more or even tie you in for as long as the tenant remains in the property. I read a recent post where a landlord was considering serving a S21 on a perfectly good tenant just to end the contract with their letting agent.
But technically I did not terminate the agreement, it was ended after agreed period of 12 months. Then I put the Property on the market and paid another estate agent to find the tenant.
Did the tenant vacate after the fixed term was up? If so then the fee isn’t payable. Otherwise this is pretty standard amongst estate agents, LL pay to leave them as the tenant is considered the agents who introduced them. I think it’s unreasonable as you have already paid a tenant finders fee, often 1 month rent.
So is it a different tenant now in occupancy?
I am totally confused…
In your first post you say that it is the same tenant and you attached the clause that the letting agent has pointed out to you which implies that it is the same tenant. You also stated that you switched to OpenRent.
In your second post you state that you have switched agents and marketed and let the property through (OpenRent) the new agent.
If I am reading it correctly, you are saying that you have switched to OR and gone to the trouble of marketing and then re-letting the property to the original tenant to get out of paying the agent to end your contract with them. This is a loophole to get around paying the agents fees. If the agent pursues it and it went to court, I think any judge would see through this ploy and award the case to the letting agent.
Sorry for the confusion from my side. Just to clarify, I switched from using high street estate agents to OpenRent using same tenant. The only thing that upsets me is the charge is hidden inside terms and condition and estate agents only mentioned it after OpenRent tenancy agreement had started. Had I known this before, I would have unwillingly taken new tenants.
Are these fees present in a signed contract? If so you owe the money.
So you would have kicked out good tenants to avoid the fee? The chances are you would have had an empty period and have been faced with some kind of remedial work during tenancies. You could have ended up paying more than the fee.