I had a fixed term tenancy until March 2017, at the end of the fixed term I carried on renting (Statutory Periodic) until the letting agent insisted on me signing an new fixed term in August 2018 and paying their fee. From August 2019 I have been renting Statutory Periodic. There is a renewal fee clause in the fixed term tenancy.
Now the agent wants me to sign up for another fixed term and insists on charging a fee as there was a renewal fee clause in the previous fixed term.
I can understand that if the agent had insisted on renewing the fixed term in August 2019 I would have had to pay the fee.
Can the agent now rely on the renewal fee on a fixed term tenancy after it ended and was turned into a periodic tenancy.
It depends how the term in your current tenancy agreement is phrased, but I think the answer is probably yes, unfortunately. If you want to renew, then it is likely you will have to pay any renewal fee specified in your agreement.
However, there are a few things to think about:
- if you wait until 1st June 2020, then the fee will become prohibited due to the delayed commencement of the Tenant Fees Act
- you don’t have to renew the tenancy if you don’t want to, although renewing will give you added security (i.e. prevent you from being able to have Section 21 eviction notices served to you)
- if you do want to renew before 1st June, you could negotiate on the exact fee. Indeed your negotiating power may well grow the closer to 1st June you get, as the chances that they will receive no fee at all increase every passing day
- the fee in the tenancy agreement may be poorly worded, or there may be some other contractual reason that you do not need to pay the fee if you renew