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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I have a Sole Agency Agreement with the below. 2) Sole

Customer Question

Hi. I have a Sole Agency Agreement with the below.
2) Sole Agency/Sole Letting Rights.
Barlow White will be sole Letting Agents from the date of this Agreement for a period of 8 weeks and thereafter until terminated in writing by either party giving 14 days notice. Should the property be let during our agency period, all fees will be payable to Barlow White irrespective of the introducer. During the period of Sole Agency the Landlord will not instruct any other agent to let the property.
I served notice on the agent and after 14 days I transferred my tenants to a new Lettings Agent. As soon as I servered notice, my current agent sent me an ivoice demaning a cancellation fee. He referred me to the clause below
CANCELLATION CHARGE
Should you decide to self manage the property during the period of residency, sell the property to the tenant or serve notice to quit on the existing tenant without our agreement you will be liable to pay the equivalent to one months rent plus Vat to Barlow White within 7 days of any of these events taking place or to be deducted from rent received from the tenant.
I replied stating that I had not done any of the above. He replied stating that I was liable for a fee because of "Should you decide to self manage the property"
I stated that I had not decided to self manage, I had moved to another lettings agent for them to manage.
He replied stating that that my point was irrelevant and that "self manage" include management by another agent. I disagreed, and stated this if this was the case, it should have been clear in the agreement. This agent is trying to extort unsubstantiated fees from me.
He has now applied to the small claims court. I want to defend this. Do I have a strong case, that I have acted within the agreement and cannot be expected to know that "self manage" also includes management by any other letting agent that the Landlord choose to instruct and does not mean the Landlord themselves choose to manage?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
For now please let me know how much the claim is for please?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
6 Flats. Total of £4,140 and then £205 for Court Fees.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
I agree with you. The wording is very poor and you are not self managing. You are transferring the management to another agent. If they wanted to exclude this then they should have put it in the contract.
They did not and on the strict reading then their claim will fai because of the wording.
Can I clairfy anything for you about this today please?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Would it be possible for you to draft a response that I can send back to the court that will convince or near as damn convince the judges to reject the claim please.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
All you need to do is submit a defence saying you put the claimant to proof and the wording of the clause is as such you have not breach it.
The term says self manage, you have not.
Does that clairfy?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So I will add some more to my reply but at the end of it is my closing statement .."I put the claimant to proof and the wording of the clause is as such that I have not breach it. The term says self manage, and I have not self managed"
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Yes that is fine,
Does that help?
Alex
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
Ash and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes. Thanks for the advice Alex. Really helpful and precise. Am I right in thinking that's cost me £37 and not anymore?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Yes a one off fee.
Alex

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