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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I rented out my flat in London for the year ended 15 October

Customer Question

I rented out my flat in London for the year ended 15 October 2014 and paid estate agents 10% fees for their work. The tenant has decided to stay on for another year and estate agents are asking for similar fees plus 150 pounds in admin fees. I'm refusing to pay this as the agents have done nothing in persuading the tenant to stay on nor have they negotiated a higher rent for the renewal period. Am I right not to pay them?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

For now please let me know whether the agents are collecting rent or doing any work?

JACUSTOMER-m8n0ey02- :

After the renewal, the tenant sent first month of rent to the agents which deducted 150 pounds in renewal fees plus 10% of the first month rent. I then asked the tenant to send the money directly to my bank account. So the rent is being paid into my bank account. The agents are doing nothing but insisting 10% in fees for the remaining 11 months. Plus they insist I must pay them for as long as the tenant stays in the flat. In other words, if the tenant chooses to stay on next year, they would expect fees even though I have told them I don't need them for any renewals. They say the original contract obliges me ego pay them fees endlessly even if they do nothing.

JACUSTOMER-m8n0ey02- :

The agents are not or have never managed the flat on my behalf.

Alex Watts : What does the agreement say with the agency about further renewal fees?
JACUSTOMER-m8n0ey02- :

The original agreement we signed says I must pay them 10% of the rent as long as the same tenant stays on. This I find unacceptable.

Alex Watts :

Yes I agree.

Alex Watts :

You could argue Regulation 5 of the Unfair terms in Consumer Contract Regulations 1999 which states

Alex Watts :

(1) A contractual term which has not been individually negotiated shall be regarded as unfair if, contrary to the requirement of good faith, it causes a significant imbalance in the parties' rights and obligations arising under the contract, to the detriment of the consumer.

Alex Watts :

(2) A term shall always be regarded as not having been individually negotiated where it has been drafted in advance and the consumer has therefore not been able to influence the substance of the term.

Alex Watts :

Therefore you can refuse to pay it.

Alex Watts :

All they can do is take you to the small claims Court if you refuse to pay.

Alex Watts :

You could defend it on the above basis and they would have to show the term was fair.

Alex Watts :

So no, you dont have to pay it and worst case it goes to small claims Court

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

JACUSTOMER-m8n0ey02- :

Full Size Image

JACUSTOMER-m8n0ey02- :

above is what the agents sent and we signed. There is no mention of how much I must pay.

JACUSTOMER-m8n0ey02- :

Full Size Image

JACUSTOMER-m8n0ey02- :

THANKS. And id they take it to a small Claims Court, what are the chances of them winning the case? Regards

Alex Watts : I think you have a strong case.
Alex Watts : Does that help?
Alex Watts :

If this answers your question could I invite you rate my answer before you leave today.


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