Tenancy Renewal Fees

by Readers Question

8:24 AM, 27th February 2014
About 7 years ago

Tenancy Renewal Fees

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Tenancy Renewal Fees

I’m renewing my tenancy, same price, just an extension.

My tenancy agreement states that I have to pay the agent £69.60 including VAT towards the cost of any renewal document created for any extension of the Tenancy.

The agency is asking £84 because the price has increased this year but nobody notified me this change until now.

I’m a foreign, so I don’t know English laws. Tenancy Renewal Fees

Please, can you help me?

Regards

Annarita


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Comments

Industry Observer

10:02 AM, 27th February 2014
About 7 years ago

DC

Why is the whole scenario "unclear"?

It may be inconvenient, a nuisance, silly and all sorts of other descriptions, but why "unclear"

The Court of Appeal (there was no "jury"!!!) stated, as the 1988 Act clearly does about 8 times in section 5, that a periodic tenancy is a new tenancy. Under the 2004 Act TDP provisions a new tenancy is a new TDP incident, and has to be actioned accordingly.

What is "unclear" as opposed to an inconvenient nuisance?

Mark Alexander

10:50 AM, 27th February 2014
About 7 years ago

@IO if this tenant wants an assurance she can stay but retain flexibility to move then she should propose a Deed of Assurance to her landlord who might then decide to dispense with the services if the agency and save money himself too. Obviously the landlords would need to consider contractual termination costs which may be applicable if documented correctly.

All good landlords want good long term tenants and one way to achieve that is to provide some assurances to tenants so they can consider the property they rent as their home, that assurance and flexibility comes from a Deed of Assurance.

Lets not turn this thread into yet another Superstike debate please. You have made your opinions very clear a number of times, some agree, some don't.
.

Industry Observer

11:36 AM, 27th February 2014
About 7 years ago

@ Mark

I wasn't the one that mentioned Superstrike, perhaps you should just advise everyone to get on with complying with the Law as interpreted by CoA unless and until Supreme Court decides otherwise of CLG promotes fresh legislation. I would not bet on either this decade.

Deed of Assurance fine - but don't forget my mortgage lender and consent warning. I too know your legal advisers advice and that you can hde behind their PI cover. Just as well as the DoA basically provides an AST with the Landlord emasculated unless he can serve a s8 notice

Yvette Newbury

14:28 PM, 27th February 2014
About 7 years ago

Annarita has told us she is from overseas, so I think it would be unsuitable for her to reply to the Landlord/agent with some of the suggestions above eg. stating she does not wish to sign a new tenancy agreement but wishes the tenancy to go periodic - most tenants from overseas would not understand this concept. Her query is regarding the difference in the charge from her contract to what she is now asking to be paid.

It is likely that in the agreement there is a clause that covers any increase in costs charged by the agency over the life of the tenancy agreement, so Annarita should check her contract for that first. If not, when the charge is made just pay what she has agreed to when signing her tenancy agreement.

Industry Observer

15:49 PM, 27th February 2014
About 7 years ago

Yvette if only life was that simple.

I fail to see why being from beyond the Channel should prevent her writing a letter - Mark has provided a template though I agree with whoever posted that I wouldn't offer anything at this stage.

Anyway back to the point - it is not possible in a managing contract to specify future increases unless yyou are very specific on them indeed. The OFT will simply strike them out if they are challenged. Any such proposed increase to be implemented later would have to be agreed to at the start, and would have to be very specific how much and when, otherwise OFT will strike it out.

After all you can't just write to your tenant and tell them the rent is increasing can you - not without due process.

Mary Latham

14:22 PM, 28th February 2014
About 7 years ago

I agree with Yvette. This request comes from a person who is not familiar with UK law and she just needs some simple advice rather than having to wade through a long discussion.

Annarita I am a landlord and I am giving you my opinion because I believe that it is in your best interest

Write to the Agent and ask them why they are charging you an increased price without having informed you before now. Point out that you are happy to pay the fee that you were expecting and will even pay the increased fee if you renew the tenancy in future because you will be signing the new tenancy agreement knowing that this fee will apply.

If they do not agree to allowing you to pay the fee that was originally agreed you have two choices

Pay the increased fee - this is not fair but it may be the only way to secure the property and avoid them serving you with 2 months Notice to leave.

Look for another property - You will not have to rush because they cannot legally ask you to leave when you tenancy ends unless they have served your with a Notice called a Section 21 Notice. This will give you 2 months and even at the end of that time you can, if you wish stay their until they get a Court Order - I am guessing that you would not want to do this but it is your legal right.

There is now a legal requirement for Letting Agents to disclose their fees in all their advertising and it would appear that this agent did in fact warn you at the start of the tenancy that a fee would apply, they cannot legally increase that fee having disclosed it to you. Whether you actually want to fight them - as is your legal right - is up to you but you do need to be aware that this may cause them to serve notice to leave.

I am sorry that you have not been treated fairly by this agent and I hope that this has not spoiled your enjoyment of your stay in the UK. I love my country but I acknowledge that tenants are not always treated with the respect that they deserve and this does us no credit.

Good luck

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Romain Garcin

15:48 PM, 28th February 2014
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mary Latham" at "28/02/2014 - 14:22":

Mary, it is rather extreme to suggest that, should the agent insist that increased fee is due, the alternatives are to pay up or find somewhere else to live, isn't it?

If Annarita wishes to renew and pay the renewal admin fee, she should just refer the agent to the contract and only pay that amount.
My bet is that nothing will happen until she decides to leave, at which point the agent might attempt to deduct the difference from her deposit. If that happens she'll have to dispute it and produce the contract as evidence.

Mary Latham

17:37 PM, 28th February 2014
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Romain " at "28/02/2014 - 15:48":

If I were living abroad and unsure of my legal position I would want down to earth advice - that is what I have given. This agent may just accept that they are wrong and take the payment which was originally agreed but if they don't the realty is that she will have no other choice unless she wants a legal battle in a country where she does not understand the law.

Annarite can of course read all the comments and make up her own mind.

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Follow me on Twitter@landlordtweets

The perfect present for property investors @ £4.64. My book, where I warn about the storm clouds that are gathering for landlords is available on Amazon title. Property For Rent – Investing in the UK: Will You Survive the Mayhem? http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1484855337

Romain Garcin

9:09 AM, 1st March 2014
About 7 years ago

There is a learning curve, but it is always best to learn the law and be able to stand up for yourself.
This avoids being bullied into paying undue fees once you realise there is not much the agent can do about it in practice (it's just £20), and that a deposit dispute is free and not very difficult.

Industry Observer

13:31 PM, 3rd March 2014
About 7 years ago

@Romain

Was it you I was debating personal delivery or personal service latest timings with, either 4pm or 5pm for the Court to accept that day as 'counting@?

You (or someone else) said 4.30 which I'd never heard of. Have just had cause to look at N215 Certificate of Service and there in the second page notes on method of service it states 4.30.

So you (or whoever) was was right and I was wrong.

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