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  • FIRST POST
    • notrealname
    • By notrealname 4th Dec 17, 9:25 PM
    • 15Posts
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    notrealname
    Letting Agent requested renewal fee when not renewing?
    • #1
    • 4th Dec 17, 9:25 PM
    Letting Agent requested renewal fee when not renewing? 4th Dec 17 at 9:25 PM
    We have been in the premises 5 years and were offered renewal for a further 12 months at the same rate for another year (which is actually above market value according to Rightmove). We were hoping to move, but couldn't find somewhere to meet our needs so agreed to renew for another 12 months at same rent but asked for two clauses to be amended. One was asked to be as per the expiring contract (notice period) and wording of another clause to be amended (pests, responsibility of tenants where we cause them, if structural, landlords responsibility - amended from pests are solely down to the tenants to fix). They amended one clause, without mentioning the other, so I asked about the other. Silence and then two days later, we were served notice to leave. Our contract request 'raised alarm bells', coupled with our 'refusal to pay rent' (absolute lie: we have never, ever missed a payment in five years). But anyway, long story....so the contract was signed by the landlord but not us and we have been given two months to leave. But the letting agent keeps chasing a 'renewal fee' of £90. I have emailed them twice in response and have advised that we have been served notice, we have not renewed the tenancy so how can this be payable? - to no response (standard from L.A.) and simply the invoice sent over and over. We need a good reference (which they say they will give, as we are 'good tenants' (?)) - if we pay it, can we take action at a later point to recover? Awkward situation to be in. It's complete daylight robbery but feel that my hands are tied as I need the reference.
    Last edited by notrealname; 04-12-2017 at 9:28 PM.
Page 1
    • slopemaster
    • By slopemaster 4th Dec 17, 9:35 PM
    • 1,437 Posts
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    slopemaster
    • #2
    • 4th Dec 17, 9:35 PM
    • #2
    • 4th Dec 17, 9:35 PM
    I cannot answer your specific question, sorry.
    But I would advise you to contact the landlord direct if you can, as they may be quite unaware of what the agent is up to. Why would LL ask you to leave just for making a reasonable request - it is not in their interest.
    But it IS in the agent's interest to con this fee out of you, and then charge the LL for finding a new tenant...
    • notrealname
    • By notrealname 4th Dec 17, 10:10 PM
    • 15 Posts
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    notrealname
    • #3
    • 4th Dec 17, 10:10 PM
    • #3
    • 4th Dec 17, 10:10 PM
    Yes, I agree. I do assume that they have overplayed us as a difficult tenant in order to boost their fees. They are so aggressive - we asked for an additional month to get us past Christmas (we have children - trust me when I say this is not a delaying technique - we are more than motivated to leave) and they emailed us very aggressively and told us they couldn't (read: wouldn't) ask the landlord, until they carry out their marketing exercise (read: lucriative charge to landlord). They maintain that they carried out the landlord's instructions to evict - which may have been the case - but I think they mispresented the whole situation to them. Certainly if they told him we refused to pay rent, he would probably have chosen to evict, but this is a complete fabrication.
    • flashg67
    • By flashg67 4th Dec 17, 10:30 PM
    • 2,300 Posts
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    flashg67
    • #4
    • 4th Dec 17, 10:30 PM
    • #4
    • 4th Dec 17, 10:30 PM
    If I was the LL, I'd want to be aware of your side of events, contacting the LL direct does seem a good course of action
    • notrealname
    • By notrealname 4th Dec 17, 11:02 PM
    • 15 Posts
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    notrealname
    • #5
    • 4th Dec 17, 11:02 PM
    • #5
    • 4th Dec 17, 11:02 PM
    Ok, that's interesting. I have the Landlord's address and was going to print out all the emails between us after we had left anyway and post them to him, as a heads up (e.g. me chasing the contract multiple times to no response etc.). Although I am concerned about contacting him now - reference is paramount, and if it's both of them wanting us out and he doesn't care about my side, the LA will go mad about us contacting him direct. Jesus, I wish tenants had their
    own agent to help us through the mindfield which is renting...
    • Voyager2002
    • By Voyager2002 4th Dec 17, 11:22 PM
    • 11,723 Posts
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    Voyager2002
    • #6
    • 4th Dec 17, 11:22 PM
    • #6
    • 4th Dec 17, 11:22 PM
    Don't worry too much about the reference...

    A poor reference would mean that you would not have anywhere to go at the end of the two month notice period, and so would almost certainly stay put. The process of getting you out would then take another six months or so, and would be expensive for landlord and possibly also for tenant. To avoid this, they are likely to give a good reference anyway so that they can get rid of you.
    • saajan_12
    • By saajan_12 5th Dec 17, 8:55 AM
    • 1,010 Posts
    • 678 Thanks
    saajan_12
    • #7
    • 5th Dec 17, 8:55 AM
    • #7
    • 5th Dec 17, 8:55 AM
    We have been in the premises 5 years and were offered renewal for a further 12 months at the same rate for another year - you don't really have to renew, you can just remain in the property under a periodic tenancy which automatically kicks in once your fixed term ends.
    (which is actually above market value according to Rightmove). We were hoping to move, but couldn't find somewhere to meet our needs so agreed to renew for another 12 months at same rent but asked for two clauses to be amended. One was asked to be as per the expiring contract (notice period) and wording of another clause to be amended (pests, responsibility of tenants where we cause them, if structural, landlords responsibility - amended from pests are solely down to the tenants to fix)- they don't have to agree to your proposal but if you go periodic, the old terms continue.
    . They amended one clause, without mentioning the other, so I asked about the other. Silence and then two days later, we were served notice to leave. - is this a Section 21 notice? This is just notice of intention to apply to court for eviction, doesn't mean you ahve to leave and may be a scare tactic. Our contract request 'raised alarm bells', coupled with our 'refusal to pay rent' (absolute lie: we have never, ever missed a payment in five years). - Crazy that the LL would want to evict for a renewal fee / tiny clause, if you think its because they are being lied to then contact directly.
    But anyway, long story....so the contract was signed by the landlord but not us and we have been given two months to leave. - No, you (likely) have two months before they'll go to court. You have 4-6 months to leave. But the letting agent keeps chasing a 'renewal fee' of £90. I have emailed them twice in response and have advised that we have been served notice, we have not renewed the tenancy so how can this be payable? - to no response (standard from L.A.) and simply the invoice sent over and over. - Ofcourse renewal fee isn't due, the agreement (you pay renewal fee, they do the new contract) hasn't been completed. We need a good reference (which they say they will give, as we are 'good tenants' (?)) - if we pay it, can we take action at a later point to recover? - No, I doubt it. The renewal fee is a direct agreement with the agent, and you paying the fee will look like agreeing its due, in which case you can't change your mind later. You'd need to put in sufficient wording saying the fee was in anticipation of a renewal and then prove in small claims court that the renewal was never executed, and then chase the agent for repayment. Costs / time would likely exceed the £90. Awkward situation to be in. It's complete daylight robbery but feel that my hands are tied as I need the reference.They also need you out so you could make them realise giving the reference is in their best interests. Don't let that drive the £90.
    Originally posted by notrealname

    Ok, that's interesting. I have the Landlord's address and was going to print out all the emails between us after we had left anyway and post them to him, as a heads up (e.g. me chasing the contract multiple times to no response etc.). Although I am concerned about contacting him now - reference is paramount, and if it's both of them wanting us out and he doesn't care about my side, the LA will go mad about us contacting him direct. Jesus, I wish tenants had their
    own agent to help us through the mindfield which is renting...
    Originally posted by notrealname
    Giving you a good reference is in the agent's best interests too, as otherwise you won't be able to leave, costing the LL court fees to evict and delaying the agent being able to remarket / charge new tenant fees. You just need to make them realise this..

    Why contact LL after? Sending reams of emails may sound aggressive but this is still salvageable by writing / calling the LL with a quick note stating your perfect rent payment record and your willingness to continue paying rent, and that you could both avoid agent fees by continuing.
    • theartfullodger
    • By theartfullodger 5th Dec 17, 9:15 AM
    • 9,117 Posts
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    theartfullodger
    • #8
    • 5th Dec 17, 9:15 AM
    • #8
    • 5th Dec 17, 9:15 AM
    Simply reply,asking for your periodic fee to be paid to you
    • rtho782
    • By rtho782 5th Dec 17, 10:26 AM
    • 1,037 Posts
    • 748 Thanks
    rtho782
    • #9
    • 5th Dec 17, 10:26 AM
    • #9
    • 5th Dec 17, 10:26 AM
    If you have an agreement signed by the LL already, you could just sign your box and then stay for 12m... let them waste their money on court fees and go "but your honour, I have a 12m tenancy?"
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    • G_M
    • By G_M 5th Dec 17, 11:14 AM
    • 42,313 Posts
    • 49,157 Thanks
    G_M
    I'm unclear exactly what your ideal outcome is.

    * you want to stay?

    * you want to stay but nly if the contract is amended?

    * you want to leave but avoid the renewal fee?

    * you want to leave and get a good reference?

    But whichever, since the agents are being alternately agressive, as well as unresponsive, I would discuss with the landlord.

    Some LL. are not interested in getting involved: they pay an agent recisely in order to keep at arms length, or save themselves agro.

    Some are naiive and assume their agents know better and/or will always act professinally and in their (the LL's!) best interests.

    And some LLs really care, and would hate to lose a reliable tenant because of their agent's actions.
    • notrealname
    • By notrealname 6th Dec 17, 8:43 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    notrealname
    Thanks for the responses, all very informative. To be honest, we would have been happy to stay but the whole thing has soured the relationship for me - I don't care that much for the bricks and mortar and we were paying too much for teeny flat which does have its issues.

    The update is the L.A. did their market assessment of the property. They seem to have realised that they were onto a good thing in terms of what we were paying in rent, compared to the three other flats in the same block on the market currently so I received an email tonight saying: "I am confused. You refused to pay the rent and would not sign the contract you agreed for the last five years (incorrect, again) but would you want to stay?"

    I don't even know what she's talking about - there was no communication from us prior to this.

    Ultimately, I was just concerned about their insistence for the renewal fee (which I will continue to ignore), getting a good reference from them for the five years of the tenancy and finding another property ready to move in five weeks time. Life is too short - the four other LAs we have used in the past have been a dream compared to this one. e.g. So they arranged a time to do their market appraisal and I expected them to bring the keys with them, as they have done every other time they have come to the property in the last five years. But this time she actually expected us to be home to allow access but didn't mention this and when we were not there to answer the door, she wrote another email a few hours later, accusing us of preventing access and told us that the Landlord would be informed. Even though when she arrived, her colleague rang me and I explained my assumption and apologised, and her colleague said he would pass on the message. They are just exhausting. I feel like I am constantly responding to accusatory emails.
    • notrealname
    • By notrealname 6th Dec 17, 8:45 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    notrealname
    And yes, we received a Section 21 notice, stating we must leave after 14 January.
    • notrealname
    • By notrealname 6th Dec 17, 8:47 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    notrealname
    If you have an agreement signed by the LL already, you could just sign your box and then stay for 12m... let them waste their money on court fees and go "but your honour, I have a 12m tenancy?"
    Originally posted by rtho782
    Yes, I did think of this also! But now the electronic contract has closed now.
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