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Help needed re: UK letting agents/laws

Help needed re: UK letting agents/laws

Old Feb 24th 2014, 3:02 pm
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Default Help needed re: UK letting agents/laws

We rent our house in the UK originally using a national letting agent, who initially were amazing. We switched to manage it ourselves (as we saved ourselves time/money liaising with the tenant directly for repairs etc) only to find that we naively signed an agreement that locks us into them until the tennant moves out. so, they are still charging us for anything and everything they can (including another huge 'finders fee' each year for doing nothing). But its all hidden in the agreement we signed. We would never have got such a good tenant/high rent if it wasnt for them and we acknowledge that we signed the agreement. But really want out without having to evict the tenant. We REALLY need some legal advice to see if this is possible... Where do we turn? Can anyone recommend anyone in the UK that can provide some legal advice on this? Or has anyone been in a situation like this and found a loop hole?
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Old Feb 24th 2014, 3:11 pm
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Default Re: Help needed re: UK letting agents/laws

Apart from the recurring finders fee, those are, I am fairly certain, perfectly normal terms and conditions. That is how the agent makes their money, surely you didn't think that you were getting the services of an agent to find you a tenant for just the % fee for a few months?

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Old Feb 24th 2014, 3:22 pm
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Default Re: Help needed re: UK letting agents/laws

Really?? i understand they need to make their money, but they received around 1500 pounds when the tenant moved in. plus the overinflated costs of everything else they have done since then. they're making money don't you worry! I just don't think it right that they charge such a large amount every year - for doing what?? ok i signed the agreement so have to lump it i guess. just wondered if there was a loop hole.....
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Old Feb 24th 2014, 3:28 pm
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Default Re: Help needed re: UK letting agents/laws

It's a long time since I rented property out through an agent in the UK, but when I did, there was a separate termination clause for the ongoing management ( as opposed to the letting and renewal). Are you sure you can't give notice to terminate the management? Although to do so is going to make life difficult to manage from a distance without someone "on the ground".

As for the renewal fee, well, I doubt there is much you can do about that. They found a good tenant, you're probably going to have to pay.....FWIW, my contracts were generally one month for a new tenant, then half a month for renewals.
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Old Feb 24th 2014, 4:18 pm
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Lightbulb Re: Help needed re: UK letting agents/laws

To the O/P; you could try posting your question in the forums here:

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...gent-Questions

or here: http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...ting-Questions

Homepage: http://www.landlordzone.co.uk
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Old Feb 24th 2014, 4:24 pm
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Default Re: Help needed re: UK letting agents/laws

Are you sure you have to pay the finders fee each year if the current tenant is staying in the property?

If our tenant just signed a new tenancy agreement annually we didn't have to pay a finders fee, however if a tenant moved out and the management agent had to find a new tenant then we would have to pay for the advertising, search, vetting, new contracts etc.

I'd say you had good cause to challenge the finders fee as they are not actually finding you a tenant each year but the existing tenant is choosing to remain in the property.

Why not ask the tenant if they want to sign a two year lease if they plan on staying long term.
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Old Feb 24th 2014, 5:03 pm
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Default Re: Help needed re: UK letting agents/laws

Originally Posted by notonuksoil View Post
Are you sure you have to pay the finders fee each year if the current tenant is staying in the property?

If our tenant just signed a new tenancy agreement annually we didn't have to pay a finders fee, however if a tenant moved out and the management agent had to find a new tenant then we would have to pay for the advertising, search, vetting, new contracts etc.

I'd say you had good cause to challenge the finders fee as they are not actually finding you a tenant each year but the existing tenant is choosing to remain in the property.

Why not ask the tenant if they want to sign a two year lease if they plan on staying long term.
I agree to pay the finders fee on an annual basis for the same tenant seems unusual.
We have been with various agencies from small locals ones to nationwide chains and only paid the finders fees once at the start of a new tenancy.
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