Am I still liable for agent selling fees if my tenant buys after 5 years?

by Readers Question

8:26 AM, 19th August 2014
About 4 years ago

Am I still liable for agent selling fees if my tenant buys after 5 years?

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Am I still liable for agent selling fees if my tenant buys after 5 years?

I have sold my property to my tenant after five years of them renting I used a local estate agent on a letting introduction only on a 12 month contract. Am I still liable for agent selling fees if my tenant buys after 5 years

Neither we nor tenant have had any contact from agent ever since.

My tenant wants to have their deposit returned which is with the agent.

Reading through the information pack we were given at the beginning it says if the tenant buys the property we are subject to 1.5% fee.

Is this still applicable if we are outside of the 12 month contract?

Neither the tenant nor we have as yet contacted the agent, we just need some advice before we do.

Thanks in advance

John



Comments

Mark Alexander

8:32 AM, 19th August 2014
About 4 years ago

Hi John

The contract must be clear, fair and not misleading. From what you have said, in the eyes of the law it seems to tick all of these boxes and in that case the fee is payable.

You may try to pull a fast one and refund the tenants deposit and hope the agent never realises but that doesn't mean the fee isn't still due if he ever finds out.

Honesty is is usually the best policy so on that basis perhaps you should go and have a chat with the agent. Explain that your tenant has made an offer and that you are considering selling but his 1.5% commission is the deal breaker. Ask him if he would consider a lower amount given the circumstances. Something is better than nothing for him and whatever he gets will certainly be a nice little windfall that he wasn't expecting.

Good luck!
.

All BankersAreBarstewards Smith

9:26 AM, 19th August 2014
About 4 years ago

I have never agreed to sign a contract which contains this clause. I once negotiated a very very low set amount (not a %) with a particularly stubborn agent.

My view is that I employed an agent to find me a tenant to rent on tenant-find only and I paid him/her a goodly sum to do so.

What extra work has the agent done which warrants additional payment if the tenant now comes to a private arrangement to buy ? NONE that's what....

If the agent had been offering a fully managed tenancy service.... I think there could be some justification in a fee for their loss of income.... but this is not the case here.

I would suggest the tenant ask the agent for his/her deposit back as it is nothing to do with the landlord, and then let the agent ask the landlord for the 1.5% and take it from there

I would not pay it and let them take me to court. They wont bother.


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