Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • bumblebee23
    • By bumblebee23 14th May 18, 9:27 AM
    • 190Posts
    • 446Thanks
    bumblebee23
    Letting agent increasing fees and rent
    • #1
    • 14th May 18, 9:27 AM
    Letting agent increasing fees and rent 14th May 18 at 9:27 AM
    Sorry this is a bit of a long post... I have two issues with our letting agent. We have been living in the same rented accommodation for 8 years now, our tenancy is due for renewal and we received a letter from the letting agents stating that they had spoken with the landlord regarding the renewal they are happy to renew the contract, and the rent would be increased by 45 per month.

    The renewal fee referenced in our original contract from 8 years ago is 50 + vat. Last year the letting agents sent us a renewal agreement and the fee was listed as 70 + vat, we had not been informed of any increase prior to receiving the invoice so disputed it and said we would only pay the 50 + Vat detailed in the original contract. The agents agreed 'on this occasion' and then sent a letter saying "all future renewals will be at the agreed rate of 70 + vat". We didn't acknowledge this letter and just paid the 50 + vat for that year. This year they have sent us a renewal letter and the renewal fee is 95 + vat! Obviously we are going to dispute this again as that's another increase, but my question is do we insist upon the 50 renewal fee as per our original contract or the 70 one?

    We then contacted the landlord to warn her to check her own renewal fee and she mentioned that she had instructed the letting agents to NOT increase the rent this year to be reviewed next year. This is the second time this letting agent has done this, the first year we were in the property the landlord said no increase and they tried to put the rent up by 50 per month - that time they said it was an 'admin error'.

    Where do we stand with this, obviously we don't want to pay the rent increase or the higher renewal fee, but we don't want to get kicked out by the letting agency.

    Should we be contacting the ombudsman regarding this, it seems very sneaky at the least and if we hadn't queried it would they just pocket the rent increase themselves?
    Comping newbie!
    Wins so far...
    2013 - Pringles

    Wins: Cinema tickets / Beachball / Easter Egg / Skin buff / Ben 10 goodies / Dodgeball event / Greek holiday
    Thanks to all posters! x
Page 1
    • bigisi
    • By bigisi 14th May 18, 9:43 AM
    • 180 Posts
    • 338 Thanks
    bigisi
    • #2
    • 14th May 18, 9:43 AM
    • #2
    • 14th May 18, 9:43 AM
    Why are you considering paying any fees at all. Just let the tenancy move to periodic, keep paying the same rent and ignore all the letting agent's lies.

    I don't think you can go to the ombudsman without exhausting the LA's complaints process and all they're going to do is blame an "admin error" again so it's pretty pointless.

    If the landlord is happy for you to stay with no rent increase then do just that. You don't have to even deal with the LA.
    • bumblebee23
    • By bumblebee23 14th May 18, 11:01 AM
    • 190 Posts
    • 446 Thanks
    bumblebee23
    • #3
    • 14th May 18, 11:01 AM
    • #3
    • 14th May 18, 11:01 AM
    Yes, we've received an email this morning blaming 'new staff' for the error.

    To move to a periodic do we need to obtain permission from the landlord first or just say to the letting agent we don't want to renew, we want to let it roll month by month? Sorry, never done this before, we have just paid the fee each year!
    Comping newbie!
    Wins so far...
    2013 - Pringles

    Wins: Cinema tickets / Beachball / Easter Egg / Skin buff / Ben 10 goodies / Dodgeball event / Greek holiday
    Thanks to all posters! x
    • wesleyad
    • By wesleyad 14th May 18, 11:10 AM
    • 206 Posts
    • 162 Thanks
    wesleyad
    • #4
    • 14th May 18, 11:10 AM
    • #4
    • 14th May 18, 11:10 AM
    Just explain to the LL you are happy in the house, you have been great tenants for 8 years and from now on you will be going on periodic tenancy. There's very few LLs that will have a problem with this.

    The agent will kick up a fuss.. they are charging you 70 a year (and the LL as well!) just to change a date on a word document once a year.

    Remember your contract is soley with the LL. The agent is just that; "an agent of the LL". It would probably be more appropriate for the LL to take any action regarding the "rent increases" as technically they are defrauding her (by not passing rent on). Extremely dodgy by the agent though and makes you wonder how many people they are doing this to.
    • need an answer
    • By need an answer 14th May 18, 11:17 AM
    • 403 Posts
    • 472 Thanks
    need an answer
    • #5
    • 14th May 18, 11:17 AM
    • #5
    • 14th May 18, 11:17 AM
    The LA is employed by the LL and as such both the LL and the tenant pay fees to the LA for the services they provide.
    In the case of annual renewal fees both you and you LL are likely to be charged the LA "standard fee"

    You certainly have the right to roll onto a periodic tenancy with the standard terms being one month notice from you and 2 months notice from the LL but whether the LA will be compliant to want to allow the change is another matter.....in doing so they then lose the 2 lots of fees they charge to you and your LL!

    its possibly a conversation for your LL to have with the agency.Its a conversation I had as a LL with my agency some years back and we now have the agreement that no renewal fees are charged to either side in return for keeping my properties with them.

    In light of the administration errors that you seem to be encountering with this agency I would certainly go back to your LL and explain that you would like to remain as their tenant but are finding the situation with the agency misinforming you rather unprofessional.

    Hopefully your LL will be happy to speak with the agency on both your behalfs in order to find a suitable solution in a rolling tenancy going forward.
    in S 28 T 20 F 42
    out S 36 T 24 F 32
    2017 -32
    • bumblebee23
    • By bumblebee23 16th May 18, 9:56 AM
    • 190 Posts
    • 446 Thanks
    bumblebee23
    • #6
    • 16th May 18, 9:56 AM
    • #6
    • 16th May 18, 9:56 AM
    So I've advised the letting agent that we do not plan to renew and would like to move to a periodic and they have refused.


    The email I have received:


    " Hi Jo

    Unfortunately the tenancy agreement doesn!!!8217;t constitute as a periodic tenancy. If the tenancy was periodic there would be no contract in place. We don!!!8217;t do periodic tenancies so if you are intending on staying in the property we require a signed agreement.

    Kind regards

    Louise"


    Bearing in mind the contract they are asking us to sign is basically just a periodic tenancy in itself. It's a 12 month tenancy agreement with break clause saying the landlord can end it early with 2 months notice and we can end early with 1 month.
    Comping newbie!
    Wins so far...
    2013 - Pringles

    Wins: Cinema tickets / Beachball / Easter Egg / Skin buff / Ben 10 goodies / Dodgeball event / Greek holiday
    Thanks to all posters! x
    • notafan
    • By notafan 16th May 18, 10:03 AM
    • 265 Posts
    • 141 Thanks
    notafan
    • #7
    • 16th May 18, 10:03 AM
    • #7
    • 16th May 18, 10:03 AM
    Just ignore them and it will automatically go onto a periodic tenancy - on the same terms as you already have.
    • westernpromise
    • By westernpromise 16th May 18, 10:14 AM
    • 3,807 Posts
    • 4,930 Thanks
    westernpromise
    • #8
    • 16th May 18, 10:14 AM
    • #8
    • 16th May 18, 10:14 AM
    Agree with the advice you've been given - the only parties who can unilaterally end a tenancy are the tenant or a court. If you don't sign up it defaults to a periodic which so far as you and your rights to stay there are concerned is no different.

    What your letting agent wants to do is get you to sign another tenancy so that they can charge the landlord another letting fee. If you go to a periodic tenancy they can't do this, so what they are trying to do is screw 10% of the annual rent (or whatever) out of the landlord. The landlord gains nothing by this for the reasons set out in the previous paragraph.

    I am a landlord FWIW.
    Buying a house, if you believe the market has a way to fall, or if you are paying sill asking prices ( like some sheeple ) or if you are buying in London, is now a massive financial gamble!!!!! - June 8, 2012 by TheCountOfNowhere
    • bumblebee23
    • By bumblebee23 16th May 18, 2:05 PM
    • 190 Posts
    • 446 Thanks
    bumblebee23
    • #9
    • 16th May 18, 2:05 PM
    • #9
    • 16th May 18, 2:05 PM
    Thank you, I'm just a bit worried they will put pressure on the landlord to kick us out if we don't sign.
    Comping newbie!
    Wins so far...
    2013 - Pringles

    Wins: Cinema tickets / Beachball / Easter Egg / Skin buff / Ben 10 goodies / Dodgeball event / Greek holiday
    Thanks to all posters! x
    • need an answer
    • By need an answer 16th May 18, 2:14 PM
    • 403 Posts
    • 472 Thanks
    need an answer
    Have you thought about going to the LL and expressing your own concerns?

    My feeling is that the LL may not be experienced and is relying on the LA giving good advice and service for the fees paid by you both.

    It is very clear that the email you have quoted is just a smokescreen to bully or cajole whichever way you want to look at it into signing something that attracts a fee payable by both yourself and your LL.

    if you were to explain the situation to your LL that you are happy there but feel that you are being pressurised into accepting something that doesn't need to be offered and as such you really will have to consider your onward plans if this is going to continue to be a regular cash cow!
    Presumably if you have been good tenants for the time that you have lived there,your LL will not want to lose you simply because of a renewal fee.

    For the record,I have 5 sets of tenants 4 of which are on periodic contracts of the like that this LA would claim there is no contract in place,its madness.The other tenant specifically asked for a new 12 month contract despite my plea for them to reconsider because I knew it would cost both of us money for my LA to draw up!
    Last edited by need an answer; 16-05-2018 at 2:18 PM.
    in S 28 T 20 F 42
    out S 36 T 24 F 32
    2017 -32
    • bumblebee23
    • By bumblebee23 16th May 18, 2:36 PM
    • 190 Posts
    • 446 Thanks
    bumblebee23
    Thank you. We do have a good relationship with the LL, we wouldn't want to lose the property mainly because our LL is great, she allows us to have pets, redecorate etc. I just don't want her to get fed up with us asking questions!



    One last question, the property is fully managed, would that make any difference with regards to the renewal?
    Comping newbie!
    Wins so far...
    2013 - Pringles

    Wins: Cinema tickets / Beachball / Easter Egg / Skin buff / Ben 10 goodies / Dodgeball event / Greek holiday
    Thanks to all posters! x
    • need an answer
    • By need an answer 16th May 18, 2:46 PM
    • 403 Posts
    • 472 Thanks
    need an answer
    It shouldn't do,but it probably reinforces the thought that your LL is being guided by the LA a little more than perhaps they need to. Given if they live local too.

    A fully managed contract could be costing your LL 15% of your monthly rental payment each month in just administration fees....10% if they thought to negotiate a discount but certainly no less than 6% and that would have needed to involve serious haggling!

    This agent is fleecing you both!
    Last edited by need an answer; 16-05-2018 at 2:55 PM.
    in S 28 T 20 F 42
    out S 36 T 24 F 32
    2017 -32
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 16th May 18, 2:48 PM
    • 12,109 Posts
    • 17,043 Thanks
    Pixie5740
    So I've advised the letting agent that we do not plan to renew and would like to move to a periodic and they have refused.


    The email I have received:


    " Hi Jo

    Unfortunately the tenancy agreement doesn!!!8217;t constitute as a periodic tenancy. If the tenancy was periodic there would be no contract in place. We don!!!8217;t do periodic tenancies so if you are intending on staying in the property we require a signed agreement.

    Kind regards

    Louise"


    Bearing in mind the contract they are asking us to sign is basically just a periodic tenancy in itself. It's a 12 month tenancy agreement with break clause saying the landlord can end it early with 2 months notice and we can end early with 1 month.
    Originally posted by bumblebee23


    How many lies can one letting agent cram into a single email or perhaps it is sheer ignorance.

    The current tenancy agreement might be a fixed term agreement but the moment the fixed term ends and you remain in the property you automatically start a periodic tenancy. There is absolutely nothing the landlord or letting agent can do to prevent this from happening. The periodic tenancy will either be on a contractual or statutory basis.

    To say that a contract will not be in place is just a steaming, big, pile of poo.

    Read G_M's Guide to Ending/Renewing as AST. It covers: what happens when a fixed term ends? How can a LL or tenant end a tenancy? What is a periodic tenancy?

    Care to name and shame the letting agent? In fact that email is so full of crap I'd put in a formal complaint to the letting agency suggesting that the staff require further training.

    As for the tenancy I just wouldn't bother responding to the letting agent any further. They can't evict and only the landlord can go to court to obtain a possession order so all I would do is start paying the new rent amount when the fixed term ends. Would any right minded landlord take a paying tenant to court just because the tenant doesn't want to sign a new fixed term contract? No.
    • bumblebee23
    • By bumblebee23 16th May 18, 3:26 PM
    • 190 Posts
    • 446 Thanks
    bumblebee23
    Thank you so much for all your advice.


    I responded to ask the letting agent to confirm, in writing, that they are saying we would be evicted if we refuse to sign and pay the fee and she has now back tracked.


    "Hi Jo

    No not at all you wouldn!!!8217;t be evicted just that we would only do periodic tenancies on special occasions (say your tenancy ended next month and you needed to extend for 2 months because you had purchased a house).

    Most of our landlords prefer proper tenancies than to go periodic. I can ask on your behalf if she would agree to a periodic tenancy. I know you deal with her direct on time to time so she might be happy for this.

    Kind regards"



    The letting agents are Leaders. We have had so many issues with them, they really are worse than awful, but we love the house and our landlady is amazing. But I would never ever consider moving into a Leaders managed property again!
    Comping newbie!
    Wins so far...
    2013 - Pringles

    Wins: Cinema tickets / Beachball / Easter Egg / Skin buff / Ben 10 goodies / Dodgeball event / Greek holiday
    Thanks to all posters! x
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 16th May 18, 3:33 PM
    • 12,109 Posts
    • 17,043 Thanks
    Pixie5740
    Statutory periodic tenancy the clue is in the name, it is statutory law and periodic tenancies are "proper" tenancices. Honestly, just stop communicating with these dingbats.
    • GoingOn30
    • By GoingOn30 16th May 18, 3:34 PM
    • 50 Posts
    • 39 Thanks
    GoingOn30
    Important that you let your landlord know this feedback so that she can avoid them in the future.
    Unfortunately in my experience they all tend to be as bad as each other...
    • Quizzical Squirrel
    • By Quizzical Squirrel 16th May 18, 3:43 PM
    • 167 Posts
    • 4,538 Thanks
    Quizzical Squirrel
    If I were in your shoes with such a great landlord, and I could afford it and wanted to stay, I'd consider paying the extra fee to stay on annual contracts.

    I know it shouldn't make any difference and thousands of tenants live for years on periodic tenancies but, you know, it's a little bit of extra protection for that year.
    Also, if the switching to periodic was automatic, that's one thing, but specifically asking to switch to periodic may be interpretted as signalling your future intentions. This might have consequences.
    • bumblebee23
    • By bumblebee23 16th May 18, 3:51 PM
    • 190 Posts
    • 446 Thanks
    bumblebee23
    If I were in your shoes with such a great landlord, and I could afford it and wanted to stay, I'd consider paying the extra fee to stay on annual contracts.

    I know it shouldn't make any difference and thousands of tenants live for years on periodic tenancies but, you know, it's a little bit of extra protection for that year.
    Also, if the switching to periodic was automatic, that's one thing, but specifically asking to switch to periodic may be interpretted as signalling your future intentions. This might have consequences.
    Originally posted by Quizzical Squirrel

    I would be more than happy to sign up to a fixed term tenancy for that extra protection but the tenancy they are offering is 12 months, with a break clause that the landlady can give us 2 months notice to end the tenancy early and we give her 1 month notice if we wish to end. So it's actually the same as the periodic tenancy but we have to pay them for the privilage. It's not a huge sum of money but I begrudge paying them anything extra after they already tried to rip us off by increasing the rent without the landlords authorisation.
    Comping newbie!
    Wins so far...
    2013 - Pringles

    Wins: Cinema tickets / Beachball / Easter Egg / Skin buff / Ben 10 goodies / Dodgeball event / Greek holiday
    Thanks to all posters! x
    • Quizzical Squirrel
    • By Quizzical Squirrel 16th May 18, 3:56 PM
    • 167 Posts
    • 4,538 Thanks
    Quizzical Squirrel
    Ah, I see what you mean.

    Forgot to say before: don't wholeheartedly trust everything your landlord says. Take it all with a pinch of salt.
    She might be telling you one thing and the agents another and then hiding behind the agency to avoid awkwardness or confrontation.
    Last edited by Quizzical Squirrel; 16-05-2018 at 4:00 PM.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 16th May 18, 5:01 PM
    • 44,049 Posts
    • 52,169 Thanks
    G_M
    I would stop communicating with the agent regarding this.

    They have made it clear that they either

    * don't know the law, or
    * know it but are hoping that you don't!

    and they are not going to suddenly change their tune. So ongoing discussion with them is pointless. It would just go back and forth.

    Go silent. Just wait for your current fixed term to end and a periodic tenancy will then exist.

    To re-iterate Pixie's post above: read this link:

    Ending/Renewing as AST. what happens when a fixed term ends? How can a LL or tenant end a tenancy? What is a periodic tenancy?

    I would also speak to the landlord who may also be receiving erroneous advice from the agents. Make sure he understands

    * you are happy tenants
    * you want to stay
    * you are happy with the rent that he says he wants
    * you wish to move to a periodic ('monthly' or 'rolling' tenancy) not because you plan to leave but because you don't want to have to 'renew', and pay the agent (not the landlord!), each year.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

1,694Posts Today

7,878Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • It's the start of mini MSE's half term. In order to be the best daddy possible, Im stopping work and going off line? https://t.co/kwjvtd75YU

  • RT @shellsince1982: @MartinSLewis thanx to your email I have just saved myself £222 by taking a SIM only deal for £7.50 a month and keeping?

  • Today's Friday twitter poll: An important question, building on yesterday's important discussions: Which is the best bit of the pizza...

  • Follow Martin