Letting agent from previous owner

Hi, first of all, many thanks for this forum.
I am a sole owner of a flat in central London. This was given to me by my husband a year ago but because of COVID we weren’t able to meet up with the agent but they were informed of the changes. I want to manage the flat myself. The letting agent has informed me that I can manage it myself but I have to continue paying them for introducing the tenant which is just under 4k a year. My husband was paying for it since 2005. My question is how can I let go of the letting agent. I have not signed any contract from them. My husband signed one in 2005 but solely under his name. Is it legal for them to ask for this fee? TIA

No I dont think they can compel you to stay with them or pay any fee provided you can show that there has been a change of legal owner and landlord. The contract was with your husbsnd and wouldnt normally carry over to a new landlord following a disposal.

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Hi David,
Many thanks for this reply. This means so much as the letting agent is quite intimidating and I am a new landlord. They said that because I have communicated with them by email, I have automatically agreed to their T&C’s (the email was nothing to do with contract, it is about my complaint about the late transfer of rent and late payment of the building block management agent, to a point that the building block management has sent a threatening letter). I am asking this question as obviously I would like to keep the tenant. I know that the letting agent found the tenant but the previous owner has paid it every single year since 2005 and this is separate from the monthly management fee.

Forgive my ignorance but am I reading this post correctly, you use an agent and from 2005 and your husband has been paying them 4k a year for the past 17 years to a grand total of £68,000, why would you do this, your husband must be made of money, I don’t no the legalities of this with the agent but I am afraid I would be looking at extortion and looking for some legal advice.
The very first thing I would do is stop the payment and inform them it has ceased forthwith.


i am with tony on this .Take it up with a property solicitor


Hi Tony,
Thank you so very much. This is how I felt too when I found out the numbers. I have the courage to stand up for myself now and will look for legal advice asap. Thank you.

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talking by email is a contract ?. Load of cobblers


HI Colin,
This is what I thought too. Thank you so much.

Unless they have sent you a new contract and you didn’t not agree and then communicated as if you agreed, there is no way they can infer you agreed to a contract you’ve never seen just because you emailed them. Even then, it would be iffy.

I would have a look for their formal complaints procedure on their website, and which professional association they are a member of.

If you haven’t already, send them an formal email saying that you have not agreed to any terms and conditions and are therefore giving them a months notice that you are terminating their management of the property.

If you’ve done that already or if they don’t agree, go through the complaints procedure. You’ll probably have to complain to a second level internally first, and then you can take it to their professional body.

Of course, they could try and hold your husband to the contract and make him pay even though he’s no longer the owner, so he’d then need to follow the complaints procedure too - surely that would be an unfair contract term??


Hi Cath,
This is so helpful. I am going to follow exactly what you have suggested. I am so glad I joined this forum. I am so so grateful. Thank you.

Only just read your second post, if this scumbag is using intimidating/bullying behaviour have no hesitation and report it to the police and inform the agent you have done this, you will then find he will more than likely crawl back into the hole he came from.
Bullies hate been challenged so don’t be afraid to take this action.


I exited my last two agent contacts a couple of years ago.

One had a £600 exit fee, which I got out if by pointing out the costs they had caused me, which I managed to get to be beyond that (they lost keys, had a carpet fitted incorrectly and never got the fitter back to do it properly, inspections missed).

The other, I had refused to sign their standard contract (which was an ‘as long as the tenant is there’ one) and we had agreed an amendment. They came back and said ‘but as long as the tenant is there…’ and I happily pointed out that we had agreed that we would take that clause out (as well at the 1.5% agents fees if the property was sold whilst they were managing it).

It did take a formal complaint to get out of the first, but I think they were glad to see the back of me in the end because I was constantly hassling them (because they were incompetent- didn’t do inspections on time, didn’t organise repairs, very expensive on repairs (the boiler quote from them was £1k more than mine - that’ll be because, firstly, the supplier will add on the commission that the agent wants for referring the work (so you pay them to manage the property and then they charge you again in every repair) and then the supplier thinks it’s a captive market so you’re just going to say yes without bothering about hiw much it is), lost keys, overcharged agent fees etc etc).


Hi Tony,
I think this is a good idea. I will be printing all the correspondence. During the in-person meeting with them, both were so intimidating that I was told off like a child. I wish I recorded it as I felt it was borderline racist. Thank you so much. I will update you all on my progress.

If you are new to the landlord job then they are trying to take advantage Next time you go to see them take a mate with you as a witness and /or a recording device and tell them straight off this is what you will do, i bet you get a result


Hi Cath,
Thank you. This is what I am aiming to do. I am not signing any contract that will tie me with ridiculous bills. I sent them an email last night confirming that they have not presented any contract to me by post, email, or in person. I also checked the complaint procedure on their website but there is none so I have asked them in my email to let me know. I can’t believe the courage I got from you and everyone. Thank you so so much.

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Hi Tony,
Yes, definitely. I will do this. Thank you.