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Need some advice from Landlords

(33 Posts)
LyraSilvertongue Wed 16-Sep-09 09:27:14

We have tenants in our rental property who signed up for a year. The year is nearly up and they want to renew.
Do we have to pay another fee to the lettings agency who found the tenants for us? We manage the property ourselves and are keen to avoid having to pay another 7% lump sum to the agency for not doing anything.

RubyBlueberry Wed 16-Sep-09 09:30:13

If they are carrying on with the lease why would the agency charge another fee?

KnickersandVests Wed 16-Sep-09 09:32:39

I would have thought the letting agents would have have nothing to do with any of it now if you manage it yourselves?

They charged you a finders fee but they're not finding you anything now are they?

mmrsceptic Wed 16-Sep-09 09:32:43

OK -- we have done this every time and it's a damned cheek.

HOWEVER there's recently been a court case and ruling about this and I do believe the landlord's side WON.

I will google.

mmrsceptic Wed 16-Sep-09 09:33:23

until recently yes, you pay another ten (in our case) per cent

mmrsceptic Wed 16-Sep-09 09:37:42

you might find something here

there are big problems with "going private" as it were ie collecting rent yourself and removing estate agent from the deal

inventory would have to be done and you would have to arrange new inventory

deposit returned from scheme? no idea how this would work or be legal..presumably your scheme is attached to the agent?

plus you would have to sign new tenancy agreement

hope you have good luck, we're just ending being landlords but I can tell you, this has grated on every renewal

LyraSilvertongue Wed 16-Sep-09 09:38:02

Damn. There must be some way round it. 7% is a lot of money when the rent is £1325 a month.

mmrsceptic Wed 16-Sep-09 09:39:04

yes it is

you are allowed to collect the rent yourself then it is up to them to claim the fee from you

it would give you time to investigate

your tenants would have to agree to change the payment routine though

LyraSilvertongue Wed 16-Sep-09 09:39:39

We already do rent collection and did our own inventory when they moved in so that bit's not a problem. Deposit is in a scheme linked to the agent.
You can buy tenancy agreements from WH Smith can't you?

LyraSilvertongue Wed 16-Sep-09 09:40:24

They have a standing order directly into our account.

TokenFemale Wed 16-Sep-09 09:41:24

I have also been charged repeat fees by letting agencies who have done nothing. It seriously takes the piss.

<<thinking of changing my username to IhateFoxtons>>

mmrsceptic Wed 16-Sep-09 09:41:35

from us, they have basically taken ten per cent of every single month it was rented

over about ten years it's cost us around 20 grand


for a crap service too and some of that was to Foxtons, that ghastly horrible bunch of pasty-faced overpaid arrogant w*kers

howdidthishappenthen Wed 16-Sep-09 09:41:55

Absolutely do not have to pay if you are a private landlord ( 2 properties or fewer). OFT versus Foxtons in the hight court determined this in June this year. If the agent invoices you, point this out politely in writing and they will go away. This is what I do for a living, so pretty confident on this..

mmrsceptic Wed 16-Sep-09 09:42:20

xposts token



Golda Wed 16-Sep-09 09:42:30

I've never paid an agent anything after the finders fee. There are only 3 companies who run deposit schemes, they are not tied to agents.

mmrsceptic Wed 16-Sep-09 09:43:11

shock am so pleased for you lyra

can I reclaim any of mine, howdid?

howdidthishappenthen Wed 16-Sep-09 09:43:36

BTW you don't nec have to sign a new tenancy agreement either - the current one will automatically become a periodic agreement (i.e rolling forward month by month) if neither you nor the tenant serve notice on you.

LyraSilvertongue Wed 16-Sep-09 09:45:32

Howdidthishappen, that's encouraging. I need to find out the details.
So glad I didn't get sucked in by Foxtons.

howdidthishappenthen Wed 16-Sep-09 09:47:51

mmrsceptic -Foxtons case law is too recent for there to be much precedent yet on cases bought to claim refunds on sums already paid, but (assuming you don't have an ongoing relationship with the agent that you value) there's no harm in writing and asking. You'd prob need to go to small claims court though, as they're unlikely to cooperate willingly. We're doing this with a Foxton's fee paid under duress immediately before the case was heard.

LyraSilvertongue Wed 16-Sep-09 09:54:58

According to Hamptons, the ruling only applies to Foxtons.

allaboutme Wed 16-Sep-09 10:02:49

yes you will have to pay agency again
i am landlady and it is in contract with agency that it is not permitted to arrange any private contract with tenants FOUND by the agency, so if your agency found your tenants a year ago you cannot now do your own contract with them (you could do what you want with new tenants)
what we have done so far is to keep our tenants on without a whole new contract and just keeping them on original contract but rolling on iyswim, so either of us has one months notice now but all other terms remain the same...

mmrsceptic Wed 16-Sep-09 10:15:42

thanks howdid

oh i feel awfully cheated

something I'm just going have to try and then let go when i fail

but thank you and thanks lyra for the post

LyraSilvertongue Wed 16-Sep-09 10:25:46

I just checked the small print of our contract and it says we have to pay 7% for any subsequent years the tenants stay. I'm going to have to find out more about this situation.
Sorry you feel so cheated mmrsceptic. Were you with Foxtons?

mmrsceptic Wed 16-Sep-09 10:28:48

foxtons, bm, kfh

we had a most dreadful time with foxtons

good luck with yours lyra smile

ReneRusso Wed 16-Sep-09 10:45:10

Can you try to negotiate the 7% down a bit as a compromise? They will want to avoid a dispute and will want you to advertise with them again should you need to get new tenants. So it's in their interests to be reasonable.

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