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Any solicitors out there able to offer legal advice on an Estate Agent Query?

(23 Posts)
Robeena Mon 21-Jul-08 20:58:34

We gave 8 weeks notice to terminate our 2 year lease which we were half way through. The Estate Agent told us that we would only need to pay admin costs of £94 and costs for transfer of lease. The new tenant moves in the day after we move out and is paying £70 per week more than we do right now. We are due to move out in 2 weeks.

The Estate Agent has now come back and told us that we need to pay £2800 in commission to exit the property.

This is money we do not have and I was hoping someone could advise us on what we need to do.

LIZS Mon 21-Jul-08 21:05:50

Is this in UK ? Seems an unusual arrangement tbh if so.

shirleyghostman Mon 21-Jul-08 21:06:56

Hi Robeena,

I am not a solicitor but do rent property.

Look at your contract and see how much notice is required. If it says two months or 8 weeks notice then you are fine. Dpes the contract ask for the termination in writing? And if so did you write or terminate verbally? - Not that it should matter because they have a tenat already lined up. It justs adds evidence to any pending case.

Also this is a good website to post your question and had experienced landlords/solicitors and ex tenants

www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=3

shirleyghostman Mon 21-Jul-08 21:07:42

blimey my spelling is so bad - sorry!

shirleyghostman Mon 21-Jul-08 21:12:16

Also anonther question -

You say you have been in the property 1 year of a 2 year lease. Before you moved in -Did you pay a deposit plus rent in advance? And did the estate agent place the deposit into a 'tenant deposit scheme'?

Robeena Mon 21-Jul-08 21:16:22

Thanks for the advice so far - we rent in London through an estate agent bbegining with F and they have a nasty reputation as it is.

The commision they say is for the money until the end of the contract we originally signed for 2 years.

Robeena Mon 21-Jul-08 21:17:51

I don't know if the Estate Agent paid the deposit into Tenant Deposit Scheme - how would I find that out? yes we did pay deposit + 2 weeks rent.

shirleyghostman Mon 21-Jul-08 21:23:54

Having read your last post on another thread - I can see that your contract states that you are either liable for the rest of the rent during your fixed term (2yrs) or it can be voided if they can get another tenant before then.

Have another read of your contract reference commission fees - I would guess that they would have to actually state the fee in your contract!

Also did you read my last question?

shirleyghostman Mon 21-Jul-08 21:26:47

OK - within 14 days of you signing over a deposit you should have received a certificate from an accredited body who will protect your deposit( and this should not come from the estate agent).

shirleyghostman Mon 21-Jul-08 21:33:50

Have a read through this -

www.direct.gov.uk/en/TenancyDeposit/index.htm

Robeena Mon 21-Jul-08 21:35:59

shirleyghostman, Thanks for all the information I am going into the links you sent me so far.

shirleyghostman Mon 21-Jul-08 21:39:26

First thing is do not panic - post that question in landlordzone and have your contract ready so that you can answer any questions.

If you haven't received anything from the estate agent (14 days at the start of your payment) reference your deposit then they cannot use that to pay any debts outstanding.

shirleyghostman Mon 21-Jul-08 21:41:49

Robeena - read this

www.direct.gov.uk/en/TenancyDeposit/DG_066380

and note - "The Tenancy Deposit Scheme came into force on the 6th April 2007. If you are not protecting a tenant’s deposit you will be ordered to *repay three times* the amount to the tenant so find out how you can protect deposits and resolve disputes."

Robeena Mon 21-Jul-08 21:47:01

Thanks - just found out that we do have our deposit in a deposit scheme. That's a relief. Now I just need to post the question on the other website.

shirleyghostman Mon 21-Jul-08 21:52:39

Just speaking with my husband here - do not kick up a stink now - let the other tenant move in first.

shirleyghostman Mon 21-Jul-08 21:55:26

OK Robeena - that is good that you have it in a scheme.

Right post your question on the other forum and see what others will advise but I am quite sure that the EA needs to have stated a fee or % based on any commission due in your contract.

Robeena Mon 21-Jul-08 21:55:50

Shirleyghostman, can I ask why we shouldn't cause a stink about the commission issue?

Robeena Mon 21-Jul-08 21:56:45

Also the EA didn't state a % or commission due in the contract.

shirleyghostman Mon 21-Jul-08 22:04:26

The key is that the charges they make must be seen to be reasonable Often, this may result in costs for example "cleaning of a fridge to be set at £45.00 or whatever. If they then pluck out a figure of £450.00, then this would be deemed to be unreasonable. The same applies to "admin fees"- ..if they are not stated in your contract, then it will be for you to argue and if you do not get the result you hope, then it's off to Small Claims Court- where, often, a judge will find in your favour. This task can be undertaken online too wink , but give them a reasonable time ( stated) to comply and make them aware of your intentions- informing them it is causing you financial hardship ( you are able to clainm too, all reasonable costs in pursuing the return of your monies....all this information without charge shock ..

shirleyghostman Mon 21-Jul-08 22:08:32

..just read your last post...your position is strong...a letter- should be written once the new tenant is in the property- so as not to incur costs through lack of new tenant.(Estate agent might find another property for the incoming tenant, then you are up the creek without a tenants paddle!)
(a letter sent recorded delivery, may have the effect you require)

shirleyghostman Mon 21-Jul-08 22:12:35

...you might want to arrange for a friend to "pop" in to gather information, asking,in writing for terms etc- they may have a booklet- read that to see if and what their charges are....do nothing until the new tenant is in- patience is a virtue wink

Robeena Mon 21-Jul-08 22:22:23

Thanks for that. Our plan is to get the property professionally cleaned on the Thurs, the inventory check on the Friday and officially move out Saturday. We are going to take pictures as the inventory guy goes through the place.

We have had an awful time in this property - no electricity in the kitchen when we first moved in, the EA giving the keys to utility people - I kept walking into the house to find strange men in the house, we waited 6 months for the fuse box to be replaced. The property was supposed to be furnished and we had to wait for sofas to be delivered, oh the list is endless....

Thanks you for your understanding.

Robeena Wed 23-Jul-08 15:58:02

Just a note on this - we were lucky that the Estate Agent lost our direct debit paperwork so although they took the money for the deposit they couldn't take the rent, and every month we transfer money electronically to pay the rent.

If we leave the property on our exit date without paying the commission where does that leave us?

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