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  • FIRST POST
    • stothy862
    • By stothy862 10th Oct 16, 7:59 PM
    • 41Posts
    • 11Thanks
    stothy862
    Letting agent refusing recurring tennancy
    • #1
    • 10th Oct 16, 7:59 PM
    Letting agent refusing recurring tennancy 10th Oct 16 at 7:59 PM
    The letting agent on our house contacted us recently to tell us we need to let them know if we are staying on and if so to pay a renewal fee (only halfway into our tenancy). We were advised when we signed that we could move onto a month by month contract once our original contract was up. They are now saying that is not the case and we can pay up or get kicked out. However, we brought to their attention a clause in our contract that allows exactly what we have described to them. When we did this they said they don't do short term contracts and ignored the clause completely stating we must pay the renewal fee to stay or risk being kicked out.

    I'm coming here to ask for advice, what rights do we have here in terms of our contract and is there anything we can do to be moved onto a shorthold tenancy? What would you recommend we do? The paragraph detailing our right to a shorthold tenancy from our contract is below. Thanks in advance for any help!

    If at the end of the fixed Term the Tenancy continues as a statutory periodic shorthold tenancy the Landlord and Tenant agree that the Landlord can end the Tenancy by giving the Tenant a minimum of two months’ notice by serving a Section 21 Notice which must expire at the end of a period of the Tenancy being the day before the Rent is due; and the Tenant may end the Tenancy by giving the Landlord a minimum of one period’s notice in writing to be served to the address for service shown at clause 1.1. The notice must expire at the end of a period of the Tenancy being the day before the Rent is due.
Page 1
    • stator
    • By stator 10th Oct 16, 8:03 PM
    • 5,050 Posts
    • 3,211 Thanks
    stator
    • #2
    • 10th Oct 16, 8:03 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Oct 16, 8:03 PM
    Is this Northwood (scum) ?

    If you ignore them you will automatically move onto a periodic tenancy.

    There is a chance they could evict you, giving you the proper notice. But it's unlikely.

    You could try contact the landlord directly and asking them if they are happy with a periodic contract. The agents won't evict unless the landlord wants them to.

    They are probably just trying to earn themselves fees for nothing
    Changing the world, one sarcastic comment at a time.
    • stothy862
    • By stothy862 10th Oct 16, 8:08 PM
    • 41 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    stothy862
    • #3
    • 10th Oct 16, 8:08 PM
    • #3
    • 10th Oct 16, 8:08 PM
    Is this Northwood (scum) ?

    If you ignore them you will automatically move onto a periodic tenancy.

    There is a chance they could evict you, giving you the proper notice. But it's unlikely.

    You could try contact the landlord directly and asking them if they are happy with a periodic contract. The agents won't evict unless the landlord wants them to.

    They are probably just trying to earn themselves fees for nothing
    Originally posted by stator
    It's not, it's Whitegates, it does just feel like they are trying to get extra money from us for no work at all. I could try and contact the landlord if things get out of hand but right now I'm just waiting to see if there are any other courses of action that others have taken in this situation. Thanks for the suggestion!
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 10th Oct 16, 8:08 PM
    • 8,864 Posts
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    Pixie5740
    • #4
    • 10th Oct 16, 8:08 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Oct 16, 8:08 PM
    Statutory Periodic Tenancy, its statutory law. The letting agent cannot prevent it from happening. So the best course of action might be to do nothing at all.

    Your contract is with the landlord not the letting agent. So even if the letting agent issues notice on behalf of the landlord it's the landlord or a solicitor acting on his (or her) behalf that would take you to court. Now would a landlord take a good tenant to court to evict them because the tenant wouldn't sign a new TA? Only if the landlord has screw loose.
    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery.
    • Cardinal-Red
    • By Cardinal-Red 10th Oct 16, 8:54 PM
    • 578 Posts
    • 113 Thanks
    Cardinal-Red
    • #5
    • 10th Oct 16, 8:54 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Oct 16, 8:54 PM
    Contact the landlord if you can.

    In my experience, they are often amazed at the things their appointed agents are doing "on their behalf"...
    The above facts belong to everybody; the opinions belong to me; the distinction is yours to draw...
    • dimbo61
    • By dimbo61 10th Oct 16, 10:11 PM
    • 9,139 Posts
    • 4,975 Thanks
    dimbo61
    • #6
    • 10th Oct 16, 10:11 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Oct 16, 10:11 PM
    Do you know who the landlord is ?
    If you spend £3 with the land registry you can find out !
    You can also write to the letting agents and they are requires by law to give the details of who is your LL.
    They will be part of the government redress scheme for letting agents so check out the website and complain if they push you into a new tenancy.
    • itchyfeet123
    • By itchyfeet123 10th Oct 16, 10:27 PM
    • 197 Posts
    • 147 Thanks
    itchyfeet123
    • #7
    • 10th Oct 16, 10:27 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Oct 16, 10:27 PM
    Agreeing with everyone else. Contact the landlord and make sure s/he is ok with a periodic tenancy. Then contact the agent, ideally CCing your landlord, to inform them that you and the landlord have agreed to a periodic tenancy. If they push the matter, ignore them. If you receive a section 21, contact the landlord and ask if s/he asked the agents to send it.
    • stator
    • By stator 10th Oct 16, 11:13 PM
    • 5,050 Posts
    • 3,211 Thanks
    stator
    • #8
    • 10th Oct 16, 11:13 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Oct 16, 11:13 PM
    To sum up you have two options:

    A) Pay the fee
    B) Ignore them and wait

    I wouldn't bother talking to the agents, they aren't going to tell you anything different. They will just keep saying you have to pay the fee.

    When I was in rented I did the same thing, just ignored their letters and phone calls until it became periodic automatically.
    Changing the world, one sarcastic comment at a time.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 10th Oct 16, 11:19 PM
    • 37,065 Posts
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    G_M
    • #9
    • 10th Oct 16, 11:19 PM
    • #9
    • 10th Oct 16, 11:19 PM
    ...... they said they don't do short term contracts and ignored the clause completely stating we must pay the renewal fee to stay or risk being kicked out.
    Originally posted by stothy862
    They are broadly right. You can either

    1) go for security and sign a new fixed term contract (and pay any asociated fee)
    or
    2) move to a Statutory Periodic tenancy (which happens automatically if you don't do 1) above) but have little security (so yes, there is a risk)

    Whether the landlord would kick you out is a different question.

    See:

    * Ending/renewing an AST: what happens when a fixed term ends? How can a LL or tenant end a tenancy? What is a periodic tenancy?
    • stothy862
    • By stothy862 16th Oct 16, 11:33 AM
    • 41 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    stothy862
    Thanks for everyone's help, after following the advice the letting agent came back and said that they would ask the landlord, no gaurentees as he may want fixed term (we offered a long term contract but they refused?!) but it would still cost us as we signed a document at the start of the tenancy that said this apparently. I may just take this as I've had enough of dealing with these crooks but I was wondering if anyone knew if was even legal to charge for a renewal fee on a statutory shorthold tenancy?
    • deannatrois
    • By deannatrois 16th Oct 16, 11:53 AM
    • 4,327 Posts
    • 6,020 Thanks
    deannatrois
    Contact your LL. Why are you allowing the slightly suspect LA do this (who almost certainly have their ears perking up at the prospect of being able to charge a fee and not necessarily relaying truthfully what the LL says).

    Get an understanding of what the LL is wanting from the LL.., not from the LA.

    There are risks in terms of security if you go to a periodic tenancy but whether its worth it depends on how high the admin charge is that the LA want you to pay for renewal.
    • martindow
    • By martindow 16th Oct 16, 11:55 AM
    • 6,632 Posts
    • 3,591 Thanks
    martindow
    As has been suggested you should ignore the agents and contact the LL directly. Agents will always be keen to push you into signing a new contract as they can charge you and probably the LL as well.

    Have you got contact information for the LL? If so write a letter or ask to meet them to discuss options that suit you and the LL (not the agents).

    Edit: beaten to it by deannatrois
    • Marktheshark
    • By Marktheshark 16th Oct 16, 11:56 AM
    • 5,325 Posts
    • 6,676 Thanks
    Marktheshark
    Your contract is not only with the landlord if there is an agent involved who charges you money.
    It is a Tri party contract, you have equal bargaining power and you can sack the agent in the arrangement.
    Brexit will become whatever they invent it to be.
    • itchyfeet123
    • By itchyfeet123 16th Oct 16, 12:00 PM
    • 197 Posts
    • 147 Thanks
    itchyfeet123
    Thanks for everyone's help, after following the advice the letting agent came back and said that they would ask the landlord, no gaurentees as he may want fixed term (we offered a long term contract but they refused?!) but it would still cost us as we signed a document at the start of the tenancy that said this apparently. I may just take this as I've had enough of dealing with these crooks but I was wondering if anyone knew if was even legal to charge for a renewal fee on a statutory shorthold tenancy?
    Originally posted by stothy862
    It's legal to charge anything, but whether they can actually make you pay it is another matter. You are not in fact renewing the contract, so a renewal charge shouldn't apply. There may be something in your contract about a fee specific to this situaiton so have a look at your original contract, but I would say they're just trying it on.

    Are you able to contact the landlord directly? I wouldn't necessarily trust the agent, whose incentives are to have you sign a new AST or get someone new who will. Is the agent going to ask the landlord what s/he wants, or sell him/her on insisting on an AST? Will the agent try to paint you as problematic and suggest an S21 so that they can get a new tenant (and new fees)? My point is that the periodic tenancy is less secure, so it's in your best interest to know what your landlord's plans are.
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 16th Oct 16, 12:51 PM
    • 8,864 Posts
    • 11,883 Thanks
    Pixie5740
    Your contract is not only with the landlord if there is an agent involved who charges you money.
    It is a Tri party contract, you have equal bargaining power and you can sack the agent in the arrangement.
    Originally posted by Marktheshark
    Not this pish again. The tenant has no contact with the letting agent. The tenant has a contract with the landlord, and the landlord is the one who has a contract with the letting agent.

    OP, why are you still bothering with the letting agent? Just ignore them. Contact the landlord if you must but there is nothing that either the letting agent or landlord can do to prevent the tenancy becoming periodic. You do not have to sign any new agreement for it to become periodic not do you have to pay a fee.
    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery.
    • Bogalot
    • By Bogalot 16th Oct 16, 12:51 PM
    • 331 Posts
    • 1,080 Thanks
    Bogalot
    Your contract is not only with the landlord if there is an agent involved who charges you money.
    It is a Tri party contract, you have equal bargaining power and you can sack the agent in the arrangement.
    Originally posted by Marktheshark
    No, the agent is working on behalf of the landlord, the tenant cannot sack the agent. Although as mentioned they are free to contact the landlord directly, who may or may not decide to end their relationship with the agent.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 16th Oct 16, 1:02 PM
    • 37,065 Posts
    • 40,999 Thanks
    G_M
    Since 1st October 2014, the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 S83 requires letting agents in England to sign up to one of 3 schemes:

    * The Property Ombudsman
    * Ombudsman Services Property
    * Property Redress Scheme

    Another reason to contact the landlord would be to find out if the agent is charging the landlord for a new fixed term contract.

    Is the agent a member of TPO scheme?

    TPO Code of Practice for Residential Letting Agents

    5n You must not make a tenant or landlord pay a charge for or be
    liable for an element of your service that the other party has
    also been charged for in the course of the same transaction.
    edit: Ah! Yes Whitegates website shows TPO member.
    Last edited by G_M; 16-10-2016 at 1:05 PM.
    • boliston
    • By boliston 16th Oct 16, 1:28 PM
    • 1,740 Posts
    • 1,292 Thanks
    boliston
    This does sound odd from a fee point of view as the landlord is the client of the agent rather than the tenant so the agent would be supplying a service to the landlord by offering a renewal so not sure why they are billing tenant rather than landlord. I can see that an agent can charge a tenant for referencing and credit checking at the start of a tenancy but a renewal would not involve any further checks on a tenant already living there.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 16th Oct 16, 1:49 PM
    • 37,065 Posts
    • 40,999 Thanks
    G_M
    It's a common practice, known as 'maximising the profit margin'.

    But see my post above.
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