9:20 AM, 15th June 2020, About 3 years ago 13
I signed a Terms of Business contract with a letting agent in 2014 for let only on an assured shorthold tenancy agreement for 3 years. At the end of the term my tenants and I wished to renew. The agency demanded 3 years at a negotiated 5% + tax and admin fees plus a tenancy renewal fee. The agency contacted me regarding the renewal due in July this year, again asking for 5% etc etc.
After looking again at the original terms I signed – 9.1. The Commission payable for our Let Only Service is 10% plus VAT of the total rent, premium or other monies payable by the Tenant during the initial Tenancy.
9.2. If a Let Only Tenancy continues as a renewal of the fixed term or as a periodic tenancy then our Commission is reduced to 7% plus VAT of the total Rent, premium or other monies for the Letting Service whether or not we are instructed to act on your behalf for the period noted at clause 12 below.
There are many points before clause 12 which keep reiterating commission being payable whether or not they are involved, but looking closely at clause 12 –
You will have to pay us a Commission at the Let Only Commission Percentage of the gross Rent, premium or other money payable throughout the initial fixed Term.
After the initial fixed term we will charge Renewal Commission if the Tenancy is renewed whether or not we are instructed to act for the Landlord if the Tenant remains in occupation for a period of 2 years.
It seems to me their demand for money after the 2 year renewal period is unlawful and dishonest. I have requested the sum for the 5th year to be returned which they responded –
“To explain our terms did change on renewal fees which are now applicable to all Landlords the whole way through a tenancy irrespective of the original terms. As a gesture of good will and given your previous terms I had agreed from here on not to charge fees when this should now be applicable.”
My terms were never previous, these are the terms. I have again asked for the 1 years fee to be returned but they have not replied.
The amount is 3.25k.
At this point should I engage a lawyer?