Tenant Introduction through two agencies – which is valid?

by Readers Question

10:43 AM, 3rd June 2015
About 3 years ago

Tenant Introduction through two agencies – which is valid?

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Tenant Introduction through two agencies – which is valid?

I could do with some advice regarding the below please. Tenant Introduction through two agencies

First time landlord, and I’m advertising our BTL through an online agent and a High Street estate agent.

The online agents have been paid up front and the agent is on 8% commission.

I arranged a viewing through the online agent with an applicant a week ago, and he subsequently walked through the door with the High Street agent a few hours before the viewing organised via the online agent was scheduled.

Who has introduced the applicant to me?

Does introduction mean initial contact or face to face meeting?

Can I request the applicant to go through online agent?

I guess what I’m ultimately asking is; do I need to pay the 8% fee if this applicant offers and I accept?

Thanks

Sal



Comments

Mark Alexander

10:47 AM, 3rd June 2015
About 3 years ago

Hi Sal

It depends on what terms and conditions you have signed up to with the High Street agent. Have you signed a contract and if so, did you read it before you signed it?

If you can prove, perhaps by email, that the online agent referred the prospective tenant first then I would show that to the High Street agent if I were you.

Of course, you may not like the prospective tenant and he might not like your property so it is all academic at the moment anyway.

The other point you should consider, especially as you are a newbie, is the service the High Street agent is offering. I suggest you compare it to this >>> http://www.property118.com/property-management-checklist/67891/
.

Dr Rosalind Beck

14:43 PM, 3rd June 2015
About 3 years ago

No idea what the law is, but I had a similar situation with property in Spain - someone contacted us directly and later went to the agent - which would have meant both parties had to pay several thousand pounds. I just said no; that I had received an email before the agent and so their contact with the agent was irrelevant. No idea if that helps - but it worked for me (in Spain though).

Saleha Haque

15:04 PM, 3rd June 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "03/06/2015 - 10:47":

Hi Mark,

Thanks for this.

I have signed a contract and have read through it several times over (before and after I signed it) and don't see any references to tenant introductions (through the high street agent or their competitors).

The only bone of contention I can see is the following:
'In the event of any Tenancy not being concluded by reason of the Owner withdrawing his instruction then a Fee shall be payable by the owner to cover the fair and reasonable value of the work carried out and expenses incurred by the Agent prior to the withdrawal of instruction'

Unsure if this refers to a tenancy which has begun or whether it applies to prospective tenancies too.

I can prove that the applicant came through via the online agent with time stamped messages on their portal exchanged between myself and the applicant, and yes, you're absolutely right, no point in fretting until the applicant puts in an offer and it's accepted. I just thought I would arm myself with all the facts, legalities and rules if it does become an issue.

Thanks for the link - I'll look into it!

Saleha Haque

15:07 PM, 3rd June 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ros ." at "03/06/2015 - 14:43":

Thanks Ros,

That is helpful - and sets precedent (perhaps not legally but at least anecdotally) - did you end up taking the applicant on as a tenant? And did the agency try to contest your response?

Dr Rosalind Beck

21:08 PM, 3rd June 2015
About 3 years ago

Hi Sal. No, this was when we were selling a property in Spain. The sale fell through in the end anyway, but the agent, who had previously been a friend before setting himself up as an agent (as every man and his dog does in Spain), tried to make out he'd established contact with the person first. We just assured him he hadn't and he gave up. But, as you say, it was a similar scenario and I felt had push come to shove we could have shown our contact was first and wouldn't have paid him a penny. All the best with it.


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