Lettings agency issues?

Lettings agency issues?

11:52 AM, 5th December 2022, About 2 years ago 8

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Hello, I am looking to move away from my current Lettings agency on a number of properties I own as I have become very unhappy with their levels of service.

The agency has also just been sold to a large well know London based Lettings / Sales business (beginning with F) and the personal touch has gone.

The new Lettings agency said I need to give notice of 3 months or pay them 3 month of fees in advance to leave them. I have asked them for copies of the lease agreement that we possibly signed several years ago but they have failed to supply these documents.

They even asked me if I had copies (which I don’t) so I assume they have lost them.

The agency are now saying that unless I can prove otherwise, they will charge the 3 months of fees for me leave their service.

I was wondering if they can legally do this (which I suspect not) if they have no paperwork to prove that is what we may or may not have agreed.

Thank you,

Doug


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Comments

Malcolm Norquoy

13:25 PM, 5th December 2022, About 2 years ago

Good luck with this. Belvoir Portsmouth tried the same after they failed to perform to contract including not doing property visits and not verifying alleged faults with properties. This eas for multiple properties. I finally had to get out of their management and they demanded 2 months rental fees for the privilege. In the end they gave me notice after it became so difficult. It has cost me a lot of money in voids, lost income and arrears. I will be taking Belvoir Portsmouth to court to recoup those losses and they have been informed. I'd suggest not touching Belvoir Portsmouth with a barge pole and ensuring all your contracts have the clause to pay to exit a management contract be removed

Graham Bowcock

13:29 PM, 5th December 2022, About 2 years ago

If the agent wants to make a charge, then it is up to the agent to prove how it's due. This should be by way of the signed terms of business that should be in place.

You have every right to stand firm and ask for the ToB if they insist on making a charge. If the matter ever went to Court they'd need to produce them. They cannot simply say that it's their business standard.

I'd also make sure to get everything else off them that you need like tenancy agreements (especially if they hold the originals) and compliance documents.

I suggest you write formally terminating their agreement on, say 1 month's notice and ask for the files to be sent to you.

Contended Ted

16:04 PM, 5th December 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Malcolm Norquoy at 05/12/2022 - 13:25Belvoir are franchises, so some branches are better than others. All agents seem to have gone downhill since Covid. It’s always hard to get through to agents now. I think that they are having to listen more to new applicants who are unsuitable but still desperate and it’s harder to find availability with tradespeople at sensible prices. They are also shirking their responsibilities regarding inspections having got out of the habit since lockdown. They are also getting slower to tell us when the tenant hasn’t paid. They are probably suffering staffing issues I suspect.

Rod

16:53 PM, 5th December 2022, About 2 years ago

It is very unlikely that your agreement with the original agent had the terms which F** are trying to force on you.

Your original terms are what applies, not the new ones, unless you have signed a new agreement.

As neither of you are able to produce a copy of the original agreement, I suggest you follow Graham's advice, insisting on 1 month with a fallback position of 6 weeks, subject to them providing copies of all tenancy compliance documentation.

Should they insist on the 3 month payment, a mention of taking it to their ombudsman may yield the required result.

Good luck

richard fuller

19:47 PM, 6th December 2022, About 2 years ago

Go tons stay away

Malcolm Norquoy

20:20 PM, 6th December 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Contended Ted at 05/12/2022 - 16:04
Whilst fair comments, still inexcusable. Belvoir Portsmouth had been shocking for a long time and more fool me for not leaving them when chances arose. Arrogant, belligerent, minimal to zero accountability and not performing to contract. But expecting Landlords to perform to contract and putting all costs and issues at the Landlord's door because it is easier and cheaper to do so, rather than perform investigation and full due diligence. We all have challenges including personnel etc but the above is inexcusable. It it time to take these agents to task and take them to court if needed. They think they can get away with murder

Puzzler

14:04 PM, 7th December 2022, About 2 years ago

3 months notice is quite a good deal, just give it to them

Some agents insist you stay until the end of the current tenancies (whether that's enforceable I would not know)

Tom Soane

8:43 AM, 12th December 2022, About 2 years ago

I'm the owner of a letting agency and would advise you with some experience and knowledge:
!. Without a contract, you're free to leave whenever you want. That's the agent's tough luck for either not getting terms of business signed or losing them. It's not for you to prove, it's for them to prove. You can't enforce the terms of a contract that doesn't exist.
2. You have the right to instruct your tenant to pay you direct instead of the agent. Better still, most good letting agents have a process for transferring properties from one agent to another.
3. A contract would need to have an assignment clause or similar. The new agent should have picked this up in the due diligence prior to the purchase. I've bought 6 letting agents myself and I know this part very well. If they didn't pick this up. Tough luck.

I'm not a lawyer by the way
Good luck.

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