16:30 PM, 14th May 2015, About 6 years ago 4
I have asked an estate agent to help me to find tenant for a flat in London. Initially I was looking to pay for full management as we are not from London, so negotiated rate 8% inc VAT with no additional charges (ie. finders fees, inventory etc) which I understood would be deducted from the rent every month. From the beginning I have to chase for everything (credit check, inventory, rate negotiation and contract with tenants). Once the tenants moved in I did not receive any money / invoice and for first 2 weeks they dodged my calls and said finance department looking into it and will pay you ASAP with out any further delays and this will not happen next month.
The estate agent sent me Business T&C’s two weeks after the tenants moved in. I have since read these and asked them to amend few things. At that point I was not comfortable to sign the contract and commit myself to an agent who is not paying rent on time. This would put me in very difficult situation in terms of mortgage commitments, maintenance charges and insurance etc. I have explained my decision to the agent and explained my concerns. He got very angry and started saying if you want your money you need sign for the full management service with us.
At that point I demanded to speak to his director to complain about the rent situation and the agents behaviour. The Director took the call started saying….
“This is a recorded call anything you say will be held against you in Court. I am a lawyer, I work in Court and I am not new to the system. We have sent you Business T&C’s by post and email (they did not have corresponding address to post I had to give them 3 weeks after tenants moved in), you have accepted T&C’s since you have not responded within 3days upon receiving them. If you want we can remove the tenants for you but it will cost for that service. If you want to receive your rent sign our Business T&C’s for full management service”
During the conversation I tried to object to some of above statements but he got very angry started yelling, threatening and started saying he will see me in court.
I am bit confused, is there any clause in estate agents codes of conduct where it says after receiving T&C’s you have to sign them within 3 days otherwise have accepted all the T&C’s”?
If an agent finds a tenant and you sign the contract with tenant for 3ys does this means I have accepted all their T&C’s and charges? I was not given these before the tenants moved, neither were they explained to me. Most of these charges I cannot afford, that is why made a deal over the phone 8% inc VAT no additional charges.
The estate agent is refusing to give me keys or transfer the deposit to my DPS account. Clearly I don’t want to do business with them. Where do I stand legally on all these points? I have proof (emails and texts) for some of it, but discussed commission over the phone and in person.
The Estate Agent has now sent me a invoice for find tenant service £3,888 + full management fees for 4month £575.94. I don’t understand these charges because the tenant can give months notice and move out, meanwhile I am being asked to pay the estate agent for a tenant based on a 3yr contract.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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