Termination of agreement with letting agent – I want to be fair

by Readers Question

13:36 PM, 7th October 2015
About 3 years ago

Termination of agreement with letting agent – I want to be fair

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Termination of agreement with letting agent – I want to be fair

I entered into an agreement with a letting agency at the end of Jan 2015 and an excellent tenant moved into my property in March. fair

That months rent went to the letting agency as a finders fee and since then they have been taking 10% + VAT of the rent in return for property management services. I would like to take over the property management myself moving forward, but want to be fair about withdrawing from my contract.

I have no complaints with the service received, its just that this looks set to be a long term let and I now have confidence that I can cope with an maintenance/ repair issues that come up myself ( I acquired the property on my mother’s death so renting was all new to me when I entered into my agreement).

The contract does not mention a buy out option. Instead it says that termination is not possible UNTIL the agency is paid the remuneration to which they are entitled; no specification of UNTIL is provided.

Can you give me a steer about how to proceed?

Nicky



Comments

Neil Patterson

13:39 PM, 7th October 2015
About 3 years ago

Hi Nicky,

You sound like a very nice reasonable person and the agency sound like they have been a good business.

Personally I think a good sit down face to face with your negotiating hat on could achieve a mutually beneficial outcome 🙂

Rob Crawford

14:14 PM, 7th October 2015
About 3 years ago

You've had a good service and have gained the confidence to manage the property yourself. Well done. The agent should be pleased for you and offer to be there should you ever have the need. You don't mention what the remuneration to which they are entitled is? You have already funded the advertising and tenant placement and pay them 10% in advance for the management service. The remuneration has to be justified and I would suggest this would be minimal to cover the transfer of records to you and any outstanding maintenance that may have been funded. Make sure you are registered with ICO as if not that may be a show stopper when seeking data on the tenant..

Nicky Drucquer

14:33 PM, 7th October 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Rob Crawford" at "07/10/2015 - 14:14":

Thanks Rob. So I need to register with the ICO in order that I can receive the file of personal data that the agency holds on my tenant?

Rob Crawford

22:39 PM, 7th October 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Nicky Drucquer" at "07/10/2015 - 14:33":

Hi Nicky, yes that is correct. The agent should have already sought consent from the tenants to share the data with you. You should be registered to receive, store / use the data. It's £35 per year.

Badger

11:40 AM, 12th October 2015
About 3 years ago

Landlords do not have to be registered with the ICO in order to be entitled to data on their tenants.

There is a lot of misinformation kicking about around data protection.

When in doubt call the ICO (the number is on their web site). I have always found them to be very helpful with advice.

Steve From Leicester

11:54 AM, 12th October 2015
About 3 years ago

Rob Crawford says: "You’ve had a good service and have gained the confidence to manage the property yourself. Well done. The agent should be pleased for you. . . and further remuneration should be minimal "

Actually the agent is a business, not a charity. Us agents take management instructions on a "for better or for worse" basis. We know that some tenancies will run smoothly, we'll have only a modest amount of work to do, and they'll make us a decent profit. These tenancies make up for the ones which, for one reason or another prove difficult and therefore costly for us to manage.

What agents take issue with is landlords who try to have it both ways, by "seeing how it goes" and only continuing with our services if it looks like it'll be a difficult one to manage. That's why we charge what is effectively a termination fee, and if Nicky's agent's terms of business specify this she should pay it with good grace.

By the way Nicky, it's all gone smoothly so far and I'm pleased to hear you feel you can deal with maintenance and repairs yourself. What if one of the tenants loses his / her job and can't pay the rent? Or one partner leaves, and the other one can't pay but refuses to go either? Or you get a call from your tenant at 2 am to say they there's a burst pipe that's in the process of flooding the property. Or you get a letter from a no win no fee solicitor demanding compensation for the accident the tenant had which was caused by your "negligence". Or . . any one of a hundred scenarios you haven't yet had to deal with? Just a thought.

Rob Crawford

11:58 AM, 12th October 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Badger " at "12/10/2015 - 11:40":

Actually Badger you are wrong - I suggest you give them a call!

Badger

12:31 PM, 14th November 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Rob Crawford" at "12/10/2015 - 11:58":

Having personally spoken directly to the ICO's help desk on *SEVERAL* occasions over the years I do not believe that I am.

There is a huge amount of misinformation kicking around about this kind of thing.

perhaps it is you that should ring the ICO? 🙂

Rob Crawford

16:39 PM, 14th November 2015
About 3 years ago

Hi Badger, I have done so on many occasions also. Both the NLA and RLA support my interpretation. As does the ICO website.


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