Termination terms between landlords and agents?

by Readers Question

8:30 AM, 1st March 2021
About 2 months ago

Termination terms between landlords and agents?

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Termination terms between landlords and agents?

Dear Property118 Members, As a landlord, I need help from landlords and letting agents reading this. Could you share the termination terms that you have in your agreement or T&C´s, between landlord and agent?

I need clarification on the following, which you hopefully have in your Agreement:
1) on what grounds can the landlord/agent terminate their relationship?
2) what termination fees would the agent be entitled to, according to your agreement? Say your agent had just signed up a new tenant for 12 months and has already received the fee for month 1.

I hope that landlords or agents can help, as my agent has no T&C´s and expects fees for the total duration of the two tenancy agreements in place.

Kind regards.

Ellen

Comments

Graham Bowcock

11:04 AM, 1st March 2021
About 2 months ago

Spekaing as an agent, I find it appalling that any agent will operate without Ts and Cs in place. They are at risk of a landlord terminating without notice, although landlords themselves can be at risk of not knowing the extent of work to be delivered.

Our terms allow for two months notice on either side. As our letting fees are discounted for management clients, there is a charge made to reflect this if they end the management early.

If you are looking to end the relationship, what were you expecting to pay?

Smartermind

11:58 AM, 1st March 2021
About 2 months ago

Whatever the terms and conditions other landlords have in their contracts is of no relevance to you and sets no precedence.

What you need to determine is what you have agreed with your agent, verbally or otherwise and act on that basis. If there is no record of any agreement, then you can terminate the agreement without notice and without penalty and the agent has no right to charge you any fees.

John

12:47 PM, 1st March 2021
About 2 months ago

If the agent has no T’s and C’s they would have to rely on a verbal agreement between you and them. Did you keep a note of any conversations you had with them before you instructed them?
If you call their bluff and they actually take you to court I can almost guarantee they will produce a handwritten file note detailing your verbal agreement.
I personally would tell them that they are not entitled to any fees and as far as you are concerned the relationship is terminated. Countrywide tried to threaten me but I had deliberately never signed their contract. They eventually got bored and gave up.
John

Rob Crawford

13:14 PM, 1st March 2021
About 2 months ago

Don't dismiss the fact that if your agent has clearly acted with gross misconduct and because of this you have reason to terminate the arrangement, then irrespective of what has been agreed you can sack the agent with no notice or penalty. Just make sure your facts are clear and correct!

Ellen

18:53 PM, 1st March 2021
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Graham Bowcock at 01/03/2021 - 11:04
Thank you very much, Graham and others below. I have known the agent for a number of years and have only signed a short Letter of Instruction which does not mention Termination at all and only mentions a 10% fee for letting and managing. We have never, ever discussed "termination" verbally because we never imagined the agent would behave the way she did in the last quarter of 2020. I had to replace her at the end of December (= fired) to protect our investment and moved everything to another agent who actually manages one of the blocks. I stupidly felt I should pay her something. She explained that her "letting only fee of 8%" (not mentioned in any conditions, of course) would apply for the remainder of the two tenancies that she used to manage at 10% (11 months one, and 9 months the other). I reminded her of WHY I had had to replace her and, in the absence of any T&Cs or Agreement stipulating termination fees, I made a final offer of one month´s full management fee for both places for the sake of old times. Her reaction: pay by 2nd March or we´ll go to the small claims court. Your message and others below, give me confidence that I have been "fair" in my offer and that she cannot expect her letting fee. But I´m not sure she will see sense.

Ellen

18:56 PM, 1st March 2021
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Smartermind at 01/03/2021 - 11:58
Thank you. My reply to Graham above explains the situation. My interest in hearing from other landlords and agents is to establish what is "common practice" as I really had no idea.

Ellen

18:58 PM, 1st March 2021
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Rob Crawford at 01/03/2021 - 13:14
Oh!!! That was the situation. I could not possibly trust her any longer so I "moved the management" away from her but she hangs on to the thought that the charge for management was 2% and I owe the 8% letting fee. I feel very encouraged by your reply. Many thanks, Rob.

Graham Bowcock

9:07 AM, 2nd March 2021
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Ellen at 01/03/2021 - 18:56
I seriously doubt that any agent would pursue a claim for fees where they have not got proper terms of engagement in place.

I think we are one of the good guys; quite frankly if a landlord doesn't want to stay with us there's no point in flogging a dead horse, so we agree to part amicably and professionally (all records handerd over, for example). Agents who cling to the drift wood of a relationship lose their reputation - it just doesn't look very good on them.


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