Renewal fee for tenant?

by Readers Question

12:08 PM, 26th January 2015
About 4 years ago

Renewal fee for tenant?

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Renewal fee for tenant?

My fixed term agreement has come to an end and I got an email from my letting agency who requested an increase in rent as well as a renewal fee of £120. “The terms of the renewal are that an extension of the original Agreement may be terminated by either party giving to the other as the case may be not less than two months written notice to coincide with a rent due date.”

I emailed them back about the renewal fee which I find totally unjustified since the agreement is basically rolling on a periodic basis and told them I would like to discuss this with the landlord. Here is their reply:

“It states in your agreement that the administration fee is paid on a renewal or extension of the agreement of £100 + Vat. The reason for the renewal is because the Landlord has requested a rental increase, the deposit scheme requires a new set term for the tenancy and also the Landlord requires a new set term tenancy to be drawn up.

The Landlord has also requested that we discuss the renewal of the tenancy with you and this is also why we manage the property on his behalf.”

Any advice on how to proceed?

Thank you

Gaellerenewal



Comments

Neil Patterson

12:13 PM, 26th January 2015
About 4 years ago

Hi Gaelle,

May I also ask how much you paid the letting agents at the start of the tenancy?

"The Landlord has also requested that we discuss the renewal off the tenancy with you and this is also why we manage the property on his behalf" - This is why they charge the Landlord.

Do you have contact with the Landlord as they may not know themselves?

Mark Alexander

12:17 PM, 26th January 2015
About 4 years ago

Hi Gaelle

Given the amount of changes I don't feel this fee is particularly extortionate.

I suspect, however, that the landlord as also been charged and may not be aware that you are too.

For the sake of £120 is it really worth ruffling feathers? Your landlord may be persuaded to side with you and sack his agent but I suspect that will incur contractual termination fees for him. The risk is that you could be served notice.

I think you may be stuck between a rock and a hard place here I'm afraid.
.

Gaelle Baumann

12:38 PM, 26th January 2015
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Neil Patterson" at "26/01/2015 - 12:13":

Hi Neil,

They won't let me contact the landlord.
At the start of the tenancy I paid 240£ for administration and reference (for 2 people).

And thank you for your advice Mark.

Neil Patterson

13:56 PM, 26th January 2015
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Gaelle Baumann" at "26/01/2015 - 12:38":

Hi Gaelle,

I was expecting you to say more than that, so I think Mark's advice is probably best especially as you can't roll into more than one periodic tenancy.

Mark Alexander

14:19 PM, 26th January 2015
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Gaelle Baumann" at "26/01/2015 - 12:38":

The agents cannot stop you paying £3 to HM Land Registry to obtain the property owners address and writing to them directly. See >>> https://www.gov.uk/search-property-information-land-registry

Please note my previous concerns though.
.

Gary Nock

23:54 PM, 26th January 2015
About 4 years ago

Sounds like Rip Off Letting Agent Bull to me...

"It states in your agreement that the administration fee is paid on a renewal or extension of the agreement of £100 + Vat. The reason for the renewal is because the Landlord has requested a rental increase, the deposit scheme requires a new set term for the tenancy and also the Landlord requires a new set term tenancy to be drawn up"

Your tenancy goes from an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) to a Statutory Periodic Tenancy (SPT) at the expiry of the fixed term. You are not obliged to sign a new agreement and subsequently incur additional fees. An increase in rent can be dealt with by the use of a Section 13 Notice and does not require a new agreement. And as the law stands at the moment on Deposit Protection with the Superstrike Case you have to be served with Prescribed Information when you move from an AST to an SPT anyway for the landlord to comply with the law. Even if the landlord asks you to sign another fixed term does not mean you have to. The downside is of course that you have less security of tenure. Two months to be exact if the landlord wanted to give you notice under Section 21. But if you went onto an SPT and the landlord did not serve you with the Deposit Protection Prescribed Information within 30 days then he cannot use Section 21unless and until he had returned your deposit. And by the time he went to Court, had it thrown out by the Judge and reapplied you would be looking at about 4-5 months anyway.

Oh and if you remain on SPT and no prescribed information is served you could go to Small Claims Court and ask for your deposit back plus compensation which can be up to three times the original deposit awarded by the Judge.

Puzzler

17:35 PM, 31st January 2015
About 4 years ago

Others on here know better than I but are you not entitled to the name and address of your landlord?

Colin Dartnell

10:26 AM, 1st February 2015
About 4 years ago

That's what I thought.


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