10:11 AM, 22nd August 2012, About 10 years ago 36
I have a question regarding renewal fees from letting agents and would very much welcome any feedback or advice that readers of Property118 can offer.
I have used the same letting agent for the past 7 years. I do not have a portfolio so felt it would be best to use an agency. The agreement I entered into back in 2004, provided for all renewals to be charged at 8%. For the first 3/4 years 2 new tenants were introduced and there was one renewal which I renegotiated at a reduced rate of 6%. For the past 3 years the same tenants have stayed. I have negotiated the rent increase, organised the relevant certificates and done the tenancy agreement. The agents have done nothing and did not raise an invoice for the 2011 renewal so I assumed they had accepted they should not be paid as they have done no work on either renewal.
However, they have now sent me an invoice for 2 years worth of fees which I have been arguing with them. I have done some research online and it seems there may have been a change in the law on enforceability of renewal fees in recent years. having checked with a couple of agencies locally they tell me they only charge £120/£150 for renewals whereas my agent wants to charge the full fee.
They have offered a 25% reduction but that still leaves me with a bill of over £1500.00, if I do not pay they will take me to court in the next 14 days. I will also be in exactly the same position next year if the current tenants renew again.
I have found a couple of cases that deal with the point almost in favour of the landlord, that the courts have looked at, but I wonder if there is anything else I can present to them. They have refused to tell me what the renewal fees are for their 2011/2012 landlords.
Question is should I chance defending the potential court action in he hope that the Judge will agree the 2004 contract terms are unfair?
If you have any suggestions I would appreciate your input, also this may help some of your readers who could be in a similar position as me.
Thanks and regards
Previous ArticleTax Treatment of Property Development vs Property Investment
Next ArticleFinancing Property Refurbishment Projects