Firing Agent without T&Cs

by Readers Question

15:25 PM, 24th February 2021
About 2 months ago

Firing Agent without T&Cs

Make Text Bigger
Firing Agent without T&Cs

I had to fire a letting agent after he “misbehaved” with (my) clients´money and all trust was lost. I had to quickly appoint another company to manage tenants.

There is no signed Agreement or T&C´s from agent, only a very simple letter instructing him some years ago: 10% commission, he will discuss any works or repairs over 100 pounds (which he did not), etc.

The agent now expects his conjured up “let only fee of 8%” for the duration of fixed-term or he will sue me.

Could he win?

He broke his own rules, I could not possibly trust him again, fired him, and we have no conditions that stipulate what is due if the landlord dismisses the agent or the agent resigns.

Help, please.

Ellen

Comments

Marlena Topple

11:47 AM, 25th February 2021
About 2 months ago

I have been in a similar situation. As soon as rent was in my account I terminated the arrangement with immediate effect, arranged meetings with tenants and changed the locks. I had no concerns about legal action because of the seriousness of the transgression made by the agent. Also there was no cancellation clause in our agreement which would undermine any legal case against me.

Simon M

13:40 PM, 25th February 2021
About 2 months ago

The agent has no evidence you've agreed their made-up terms - it's only subject to any notice period you've agreed. As Marlena advises formally notify the tenant to make all future payments to your new agents. If you haven't sorted out the tenant's deposit the agent will need to transfer it to your new agent.
In my case I checked if the old agent is registered with a property ombudsman service & their procedure. The ombudsman expects you to obtain and follow the agent's complaint policy first. If they think you'll give up they'll refuse your claim. Still folow the agent's process and tell them to review their decision. Mine offered a reasonable settlement at this point, but if they don't then take your complaint to the property ombudsman. It takes a bit of time and effort but you should eventually get your money back.

Graham Bowcock

14:01 PM, 25th February 2021
About 2 months ago

If an agent conducts busimess with no formal ToB ion this day and age they only have themselves to blame if landlords leave without notice. One wonders what "contract" they would rely on to sue you. I sugest you play it straight and formal, with written notice as short as you like.

Ellen

14:34 PM, 25th February 2021
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Marlena Topple at 25/02/2021 - 11:47
Many thanks. We had to move the management to another agent. But the previous one stills believes that I owe a "letting fee" of 8% when the "full management" had been 10% for all the years we had engaged them. As there are no T&C´s or any document that shows the levels of fees offered, I appear to be stuck with what the agent stipulates. I have by now received a Statement and a letter: "pay up or we take you to court".

Ellen

14:43 PM, 25th February 2021
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Simon M at 25/02/2021 - 13:40
Thank you. This happened just before Christmas... but we managed to quickly move the tenants to a new agent who in fact manages the block. The "handover" to new agent including deposits took about 3 weeks but tenants, rent payments and deposits are all OK. You have encouraged me to complain to UKALA, the only body that the agent is a member of and whose Code of Conduct has not been followed very well by the agent. Many thanks!

Ellen

14:50 PM, 25th February 2021
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Graham Bowcock at 25/02/2021 - 14:01
Thank you Graham. We "terminated" the agent (fired, replaced, sacked) end of December. But agent still feels entitled to the letting fee till end of tenancy, which he/she has set at 8% when the full management used to be 10%. I´ll see if UKALA can assist in sorting this situation out. I have a number of emails that document how bizarre it all became, like a toxic snowball. I need resolution, not threats. Thank you so much!!

Marlena Topple

16:25 PM, 25th February 2021
About 2 months ago

If you are a member of the NRLA I suggest you call them for advice and reassurance. If it were me I would call their bluff.

Ellen

16:38 PM, 25th February 2021
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Marlena Topple at 25/02/2021 - 16:25
Hi Marlene. I have used this agent for so many years!!! In addition, we have lived abroad since 2003 so I have only recently started looking around at associations, forums, etc. We have not become members of any association where you pay a membership. But I must say that I think I have a better idea now of how to proceed and will keep this thread up to date. Wish me luck and thanks for your support.

Marlena Topple

17:45 PM, 25th February 2021
About 2 months ago

Good luck and best wishes


Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

BECOME A MEMBER

PM advertises prospective tenants with animals will be ‘considered’