Calling all landlords who use an agency to find tenants

(13 Posts)
megandraper Wed 27-Feb-13 10:47:22

I rent out a flat in London using an agent. Mostly fine, but I am a bit frustrated about one aspect of the fees. The agent's fees are charged upfront for the full term (a year). However, very often my tenants move out early (not due to the flat, a feature of the transient nature of the area).

So, I am paying a full year's worth of fees for what is often only a six month rental. Is this standard? I am otherwise happy with the agency and have a good relationship with them. Does anyone have any experience of negotiating with an agency over this?

1991all Wed 27-Feb-13 10:49:50

They refund the fees.
Mine does anyway

megandraper Wed 27-Feb-13 10:53:51

Interesting 199. Mine does not, and it is in the contract that they don't. Could I ask which your agency is (if It's a London one)? Perhaps I need to do a bit of shopping around.

FelicityWasCold Wed 27-Feb-13 10:59:23

My agency doesn't charge fees if the property is not let.
(Not London though)

They are taking you for a ride.

megandraper Wed 27-Feb-13 11:00:28

Oh, they don't charge when it's not let. But when it's let, they take the full-term fee in advance (12 month fee). And don't refund if the tenant moves out early.

FelicityWasCold Wed 27-Feb-13 12:03:08

My agency don't do that either! Just take their monthly % direct from tenants rent and then 'pay' me the rest.

lalalonglegs Wed 27-Feb-13 12:49:27

I don't use agents now but when I did and our tenants had to move out early, we got a pro-rata refund. I'd change agents - or do the lettings yourself.

Most contracts say that the tenant will be responsible for paying the rent until the end of the contract term. I would skip the 6 months break clause and insist on a 1 year lease. This way you have more protection against the tenants leaving early.

You could ask for a variation to their terms. Standard ones will always massively favour the agent.

megandraper Wed 27-Feb-13 14:09:48

Mmm, good advice here. Doing lettings myself not practical as I live several hundred miles away. I think that if I insist on a 1 year lease then I will lose a lot of tenants, as my tenants tend to be people on international work contracts and they often get posted elsewhere or change their circumstances.

I think i will investigate what other agencies do, and then talk to my agency and see if I can get a variation to their terms. They're a large company though, so the local manager may not be empowered to do it IYSWIM. Maybe I will have to change agencies.

megandraper Wed 27-Feb-13 14:35:17

Ha! Well, now I feel like a fool. Turns out my agency do refund pro-rata and I have misunderstood. What a prat.

FelicityWasCold Wed 27-Feb-13 14:37:37

grin that's sorted then!

megandraper Wed 27-Feb-13 14:54:10

Time to find another non-issue to fuss over, methinks....!

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