11:09 AM, 11th January 2022, About 2 years ago 17
When starting out as a landlord 10+ years ago, I used letting agents to find tenants. One extreme annoyance was having to carefully read through (and often modify) each agent’s own tenancy agreement. After a year, I stopped using agents and worked with my own template agreement that I drew up with the help of a solicitor
Fast-forwarding to late 2020, for various reasons I decided to employ the services of an agent, once again. Times have changed in that I was unable to agree on a contract without a renewal fee. Nonetheless, I knew what I was letting myself in for and signed-up, after carefully reading through both the contract and the 12 month AST agreement.
Come renewal time, I was happy to agree to a further 12-month term at the same rent and so expected the same AST agreement to be used, with only a change to the date (along with modifications, if required to comply with new legislation).
However, when the agent presented me with the new agreement, I immediately noticed that it was different. My response was to email the agent, requesting him to send the agreement through again, but this time with all amendments and additions highlighted for my consideration. I received a phone call, was told that this was not possible, and was assured that the new agreement had been vetted by the company’s legal department. I told the agent that I would not sign without reading through all 30 pages and carefully comparing them with the existing.
The agent has chased a number of times and advised me that, by not signing, the tenancy has defaulted to periodic. From my side, that’s not a great problem, though I would prefer the security of a 12 month AST.
What is a problem is the last two months’ rent not having been received (despite being paid on time by the tenant to the agent). On quizzing the agent, I am told that this is “probably because no new agreement has been signed”.
I said that this was totally unacceptable and demanded that the rent be transferred, immediately. I did not mention the deduction of a letting fee.
My question to 118 members: What should I do next?
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