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    • bumblebee23
    • By bumblebee23 14th May 18, 9:27 AM
    • 190Posts
    • 446Thanks
    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?
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    • saajan_12
    • By saajan_12 17th May 18, 11:06 AM
    • 1,218 Posts
    • 843 Thanks
    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).- they don't decide when to / not to "do periodic tenancies" it happens automatically if you don't move out & don't renew.

    Most of our landlords prefer proper tenancies than to go periodic. - a periodic is just as "proper" as a fixed term. I can ask on your behalf if she would agree to a periodic tenancy. - I'd decline this or ignore agent completely. The agent might phrase it in the same way "do you want a proper contract or this super risky periodic malarkey?" which may make the LL go along with the agent's self serving suggestion. Much better if you can explain to the LL yourself that the security of tenor is the same, only difference is the annual fee when you renew this time, and next time, and the time after.. " 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!
    Originally posted by bumblebee23
    Ignore agent, just talk to the LL, especially since you have a relationship with her. Explain that the security of tenor / notice period is the same, and you have no intention of leaving, but periodic will be the least cost & hassle for BOTH of you.

    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. - no extra protection, as the proposed 12 month fixed term has a 2 month break clause, ie the same as the notice LL can serve in a periodic.

    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
    The switching to periodic IS automatic.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 17th May 18, 11:23 AM
    • 44,051 Posts
    • 52,172 Thanks
    ..... Explain that the security of tenor / notice period is the same, and you have no intention of leaving,

    Originally posted by saajan_12
    Not sure tht singing to the landlord is the best way forward....
    • breaking_free
    • By breaking_free 17th May 18, 1:09 PM
    • 315 Posts
    • 582 Thanks
    ^ Indeed. And what if the landlord prefers a soprano to a tenor?
    "The problem with internet quotes is that you cant always depend on their accuracy" - Abraham Lincoln, 1864
    • G_M
    • By G_M 17th May 18, 9:34 PM
    • 44,051 Posts
    • 52,172 Thanks
    ^ Indeed. And what if the landlord prefers a soprano to a tenor?
    Originally posted by breaking_free
    I know I do....
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