Many thanks. If the agents are not managing the property, any clause in the terms and conditions which requires you to pay renewal commission or other fees indefinitely will normally be considered unfair and unenforceable under the Unfair terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations. There was a significant case of the OFT v Foxtons in 2010 which confirmed this position.
There are two caveats to the above. If the agents can show that you specifically agreed to such a term then it can be enforceable. It is not enough to point to their Ts and Cs. They must show that the specific condition on which they hope to rly was brought to your attention and you agreed it. Normally this will be done by having you initial such a condition they have brought out of the terms and listed clearly on any agreement. From what you say they have not done this.
The other situation which may be fair is a clause which provided for a lower rate of fee for two years following the installation of the tenant. Again if they cannot show you have agreed to this even this is vunerable, but it is less subject to challenge than an infinite liability for payment such as the condition here.
You may wish to point the agents to the above case and suggest to them that you will not be paying any further fees as the condition would appear to be unenforceable. You may wish to also ask for a refund of any previous fees you may have paid under such a condition. If you are unable to reach agreement, you can consider a formal complaint and if necessary escalate it to the dispute service they are required by law to be a member of. The dispute service Ombudsman can independently review the position and make a decision which is binding upon the agents though not you and the service is free.
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