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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I am a landlord and I let out a flat in North Acton, W3 to

Customer Question

I am a landlord and I let out a flat in North Acton, W3 to a couple. I used Northfields as the agent to find the tenants and draw up a tenancy agreement. Before I signed an agreement with Northfields I baulked at their annual charges and threatened to withdraw from the negotiations as I said I would take responsibility for managing the property and also the tenants deposit. Northfields knew I meant business and so waived the 3rd year fees. I signed their agreement under a certain amount of duress and paid the 1st year's fee. Because they collected the initial rent from the tenants, Northfields took it upon themselves to also take the 2nd year fees. I was furious and demanded it back which they did eventually. Now they are demanding the 2nd year fees and a renewal fee for the 3rd year. I have challenged them on this demand as they have done absolutely nothing in the past year to warrant any payment. I know I signed a document but that was in the expectation that Northfields would renegotiate the rent at the end of the 1st year, which they did not do. As for the renewal fee at the beginning of the 3rd year, I took responsibility for doing that. As I understand the Law of Contract, it requires consideration by both parties and since Northfields have done nothing for me or my tenants these past two years why am I liable to pay them a fee. Otherwise they are getting something for nothing. Your advice pease.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.What is it you want to achieve please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I want to be free of Northfields and their continual excessive fee charging for which they offer and do nothing in return.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Did you sign any contract? What does it say about your renewal etc?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I signed a contract and was aware there were three annual payments which is why I kicked up a fuss. There was no explanation at the time about a renewal fee. My complaint is that have done nothing for me beyond getting the initial tenants.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Do they collect the rent etc?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
NO except for the initial months rent so they could take their cut. I did everything subsequently.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Ok - does the contract say they are required to do other things etc?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes. At the end of the 1st year Northfields were supposed to renegotiate the rent which they didn't do.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Ok - how much are they saying is owing to them?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
£1,036 for the 2nd year and now I've got an invoice for the same amount for the so-called renewal, which I took care of.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
If its a written term that they do X,Y,Z and they didnt then they are in breach of the express (written) terms of the contract.In any event they are likely to be in breach of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 by failing to act with all reasonable skill and care.Therefore if they charged a renewal for things that they didnt do, then they are not entitled to their fee. They are only entitled to a fee for the work they have or will do.If they dont do it then they are in breach of contract and are not owed the full sums owing.Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How do I end the contract with Northfields?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
You can't unless the agreement allows OR they are in significant breach of contract.If you consider they are then you can just end it by writing. That is it, the contract is then terminated.Does that help?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Alex, you've been very helpful. I shall us this in my discussions with them.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Good luck!AlexIf this answers your question could I invite you rate my answer before you leave today.I am only paid for my work on this question if you rate my answer, using the star system at the top of the screen. Please do not forget! Thank you.Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-alexwatts/
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dear Alex,
I've informed Northfields of your views on the issue and am now awaiting their response, if any. I'll get back in touch if they want to pursue the matter.
Regards,
Eric Goates
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Good luckAlex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dear Alex,
I received a reply from Northfields today as follows;
"The management have come to the conclusion that we will remove the outstanding charges off of your account and we will not pursue any further. Please consider the matter as closed and we hope to continue a good relationship with you."I would really thank you for the advice you gave and the succinct way you presented it. It obviously presented such a challenge to them that they considered pursuing the matter as too costly to time consuming and maybe, on reflection,
that perhaps they were also in the wrong.Regards,
Eric Goates
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Glad it worked out Eric

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