Tenants staying on privately after contract with letting agency, but now requesting letting fee


Would like some advice on leaving a letting agent contract, as have gone privately with my tenants.

I rented my house out in Manchester to 2 tenants for 12 months, completing the letting agency tenancy agreement. Once this finished i now rent to them privately to save the fees but i also live there this time around. I initially moved back into the property for a month at the end of their tenancy to do some renovation, before allowing them back to rent off me privately.

The agency has started to bill me, claiming that the tenants have continued to reside in the property (this is in their contract i have found). My question is, because i moved in at the end of the letting agents tenancy agreement for 1 month before letting the same tenants back in, does this release me from legal obligation aligned to tenants remaining in the property.

very confused around this topic.


What is the exact wording in their contract? Can you paste it here for us?

You say that the tenancy ended. Did they leave at the end of a fixed term or give any notice and do you have any written acceptance? If they didn’t and simply moved away temporarily and back in a month later, then I can’t see how their tenancy actually ended.

Assuming that the tenancy that the agents arranged did actually end, you should have formally given notice to the agents to release them from the contract they had with you. Usually this is three months’ notice. Did you do that?

Thanks for the reply…

The tenancy was from 1st Jan 2023 - 1st Jan 2024. Agency and tenants were notified as of the fixed term contract ending and all procedures conducted / tenants left on 1st Jan 2024. I then moved in myself as a landlord for about 1.5months on my own in order to renovate. Post this renovation, i offered their rooms up again for rental which they took, but this time privately without a letting agency and they ended up moving back in.

The contract states; ‘While a tenant occupies the property, you are required to cover the applicable fees. A fee will be paid on commencement of tenancy, whether the ‘agency’ is involved in further negotiations or not with the landlord’


And does your contract with letting agency state you need to give them notice to end the contract with them?

Reply to them pointing out that as you are now a resident landlord, the occupants are no longer tenants, but licensees.


Thanks. Does the fact they pay me rent change the licensee part. I can see these agents trying everything to get some money!

I presume they will be asking for proof of live in landlord status

Yes, this was done. I presume giving the tenants notice through the agency killed two birds in 1 stone? I think the issue here maybe the fact they believe I do not live at the property and have just carried on with the tenancy privately…very odd the whole thing

As I see it the tenants left and lived elsewhere. Therefore the contract with agency ended. The fact they later moved in has got nothing to do with the agent now as this is a different agreement… The people now back can prove they have lived elsewhere ?

Probably not, they just stayed with friends…unless a letter of guarentee from their friends (if that is even a thing)

Would be interesting to know the limitations of this legality. I.e if the tenants did not move out and the live in landlord instead moved in on the day the contract with the agency ended…would that void the agency term or not….

Get the tenants to send evidence that they moved out for a while and you gather some evidence that you are living there. Incidently, they will only have a licence if you are sharing some living accommodation with them, such as lounge, bathroom or kitchen.

That wasn’t the case with the agency i last had. The terms of that contract stated that i had to give 3 months’ notice to them even if there property was empty.

The OP hasn’t yet mentioned what their contract with the agency said.

I have used agents to find a tenant, but never to manage the account. I want all the rent not 85% So not aware of what these contracts may state. Takes a brave man to read all the small print !!

I’d say it takes a wise man to read all the small print…

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Thanks indeed David, the suggested approaches seem to all align to this. Great place to check this.

The agency are requesting as a compromise to move to a let only basis (no management) for a reduced rate (having finished the tenancy agreement) as the tenants are still in the property.

Is this normal industry practise that if tenants remain in the property after a managed tenancy agreement, the agency will downgrade to the “let only” / finders fee basis…? Can this fee be negotiated?


Where did it state that in the contract you have with them and, again, what notice does it state must be given for you to end that contract?

I would decline their offer, but if they start getting legal, consult a solicitor to check that you’re on a firm footing.

Thanks David. I would really be keen on exploring this more; and whether or not this legally would void their terms for a tenant ‘if remaining in situ, a commission will need to be paid until they vacate’

It probanly depends on the wording of your contract with them.

FYI @David122

but despite repeated requests here, the OP has yet to give us the wording of the contract in regards to how to end it.