Can I cancel my letting agents contract and keep my good tenant?

Can I cancel my letting agents contract and keep my good tenant?

9:05 AM, 5th August 2012, About 9 years ago 71

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Readers Question - How to cancel a letting agents Contract and keep tenantI’ve received an email from Sophie today who wants to cancel her letting agents contract but keep her good tenant. As we have so many professional letting agents reading this forum I’m hoping that we can give Sophie and several other landlords who find this article in an internet search some sound advice. Sophie’s email is below in italics.

Please post your response in the comments section below.

“Hi Mark

I am new to being landlord and engaged a local estate agent to help let my property.  The tenancy agreement is due to expire in the next 2 months and I really like the tenant I have got.

My questions are therefore:

          1, Is it possible to keep the tenant but lose the agent?

          2, If so, what steps do I need to do to ensure this take place?

Thanks in advance for the help.


What advice would you offer to Sophie?

My initial thoughts are:-

a) Read the agents contract, particularly any termination clauses

b) Consider why you want to terminate the contract if the agents have done a good job and sourced a good tenant

c) Are you likely to want to use this agent again?

d) Have you spoken to the agent to explain your situation?

Sophie – perhaps you could answer these questions too as this may alter the advice that readers offer. 


by ron cavedaschi

16:29 PM, 12th August 2013, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "12/08/2013 - 16:20":

Thank you for your swift reply Mark

Yes Mark I should have read the contract and I guess will have to pay up, but it hurts more because I feel that I have been taken for an expensive ride. What I am asking is is it 'morally' right for the agents to do this. Do they deserve this aspect of their contract. is there more work for them to receive the rent from the tenant and inform me than I understand? It seems to me that the fee they have been taking from the rent monthly surely reimburses them for their work.

Ron C

by Mark Alexander

16:33 PM, 12th August 2013, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "ron cavedaschi" at "12/08/2013 - 16:29":

Hi Ron, of course it's not morally right, it's a complete rip off if you ask me!

by ron cavedaschi

16:44 PM, 12th August 2013, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "12/08/2013 - 16:33":

Rip Off is just what I think it is. One last question: The agent says that it is a common procedure throughout the industry. Is this true do you think?

by Mark Alexander

16:46 PM, 12th August 2013, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "ron cavedaschi" at "12/08/2013 - 16:44":

I sincerely hope not, but it's certainly rife!

by M H

21:54 PM, 24th October 2013, About 8 years ago

Just after a little help if possible.

I have had a flat under full management for the last 8 years or so and after about 3 years I told my tenant they may as well call me direct with any problems as the agent took so so long to do anything. My tenants got frustrated each time something needed attention and in some cases it would be months until the agents asked me what I wanted to do about a maintenance issue.

They have also started to charge for new agreements, which used to be included within the full management fee, I have been charged for insurance I did not want, sets of keys that were not needed, and now check in and check outs are going to cost too.

I have read the contract I think I have with the agent and would appreciate any thoughts on what, I think are the key points, regarding me leaving the agent and keeping my tenant.

Payment of Fees
Our fees continue to be due and payable by you so long as a tenant we have introduced to you remains a tenant at your property.

Termination of Contract
Twelve months written notice must be given if for any reason you wish to terminate this contract any time after twelve months from the start date of the initial tenancy. However our fees remain due and payable in full for the period of the notice.

I am thinking I can give 12 months notice, and all should be well in a years time...?
This seems rather good as I have been under the impression for years if I want to loose the agent I need to loose my tenant

It has got complicated as the agent has changed hands quite a few times and to be honest I'm not exactly sure which contract I may be tied too, as I seem to recall they change each time a new company takes over.

May thanks for any thoughts

by Mark Alexander

9:52 AM, 25th October 2013, About 8 years ago

@MH do you think your agent has acted in your best interests? If not this is a strong basis for complaint. Perhaps a grown up face to face discussion might be in order. Explain you are not happy, discuss their terms and explain that you are planning to take your business away from them. Offer a much lower settlement figure due to the circumstances, the alternative for them being a complaint to the Ombudsman and having to claim against you in the Small Claims Court. Chances are they will want to part on amicable terms.

Please let me know how you get on.


11:53 AM, 29th October 2013, About 8 years ago

What an excellent discussion thread, we agree with the vast majority of the comments so far.

We built our business for the benefit of landlords who want a 'half way house' between self management and the traditional letting agency service.

We charge just £5 to advertise properties on Rightmove subject to landlords agreeing to refer tenants we introduce back to us for professional referencing. We make a loss on the advertising but we recoup that by charging tenants a fee of £89 each for the professional referencing. This is much cheaper than most letting agents. Our tenant referencing is outsourced to FCC Paragon. The alternatives, for landlords in Scotland or for landlords who do not wish for their tenants to be charged, are to pay an additional £100 tenant find fee on success only (no referencing included) or for the landlord to pay for the tenant referencing.

We also have a collect and pay service which is a joint venture with FCC Paragon. This is optional and available exclusively to landlords who have used our referencing. Rent is collected by direct debit from tenants and is paid on the due date to the landlord, whether the tenant has paid or not. This service is priced at 5% of rent plus an setup fee of £80 plus VAT which includes the tenancy agreement and deposit protection. The rent continues to be paid on the due date whether the tenant pays or not until they are evicted. All costs associated with eviction for rent arrears are included in the 5% fee.

Everything else is arranged by the landlord, e.g. viewings, inventory, maintenance etc.

For more details please see the link below.

by Alan Loughlin

12:03 PM, 29th October 2013, About 8 years ago

could you not just renegotiate the fees, I did this with our agent and got a halving of fees.

by Industry Observer

14:22 PM, 29th October 2013, About 8 years ago

The answers to this problem are always very simple.

What did you sign up to in the LL contract and would such clauses be deemed fair by the OFT.

If they would be then you have little hope other than to find grounds for leaving because the agent has not fulfilled their side of the bargain.

Dn't believe comments by the way about agents not being prepared to sue if they believe they are on solid ground. Why wouldn't they when small claims is so easy and cheap and they'd get their costs back plus the award against you.

The two keys here are was what you signed up to fair (watch for clauses that make it almost impossible to leave without timing it to perfection!!) and whether the agent did everything the contract demanded of them, on time every time.

by Maggie Dale

17:08 PM, 29th October 2013, About 8 years ago

Hi, Do be careful, I read the small print and understood that at the end of the 6 month tenancy I could by giving 2 month notice to the useless letting agents get rid of them
but retain the tenants. However, they took me to the small claims court where I ended up having to pay the agents 6 months commission. I did get my own back later when I bought another tenanted flat and found they were again the letting agents. I refused to
proceed with the purchase until they were dismissed.

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