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Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 2457
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Eleven months ago I let out my flat to two friends on one

Customer Question

Eleven months ago I let out my flat to two friends on one AST for a 12 month fixed contract with no break clause through a local branch of a very large reputable estate agent whom I have used for over 15 years for multiple properties.
About a month ago the tenants expressed an interest in renewing the tenancy but said they had a much lower budget and only wanted it for eleven months this time
They have been very good tenants and I explained that there was no way I could afford the large drop in rent, but that if they were prepared to move to another flat of mine, very similar in every way and close by, I could afford to let it to them at the reduced figure because I would not need to pay commission to an estate agent.
Initially they were unsure and said they might change areas anyway. Time was passing and I wished to market the flat which they would be vacating but also the flat to which I was suggesting they could move if they were not going to take it, so accordingly I instructed the same agent to market both flats as the tenants were still undecided about moving to the other flat and would not be staying on in their present flat as I could not afford their lower budget as I would need to pay the agent on renewal the same comission as for finding a new tenant as those are the terms of business
The agent proceeded to do a few viewings at both properties and even managed to get an offer at asking price for the flat which I had offered to the tenants. By the time I received the offer my tenants had definitely decided they wanted to move there although er had yet to finalise the AST. Their lower rent but with no agent to pay for any introduction to the property is only marginally better financially than accepting the asking price offer from the agents and paying the agent's commission but there was an advantage in that I know them to be good tenants and I had already promised them the flat. Within a few days the new agreement was signed. As the other flat was vacant we agreed to abandon the current AST a month early and they moved in on a new 12 month fixed contract with no break clause.
I accordingly informed the agent that my tenants were moving to the other flat so declined the asking price offer of the people that the agent had found and asked them to cease marketing it
I suggested that those who had offered on the flat might like to transfer their offer to the other flat that the tenants would now shortly vacate bit they did not wish to offer on that
The agent was asked to continue to market the flat which the tenants have now vacated five days sgo and is still doing that although no offers have been forthcoming
Today the agent emailed me to say that I owe them commission for the newly arranged year's tenancy at the second flat to which my tenants have moved. Of course the agent did market this property for around ten days until the day he got an offer which I declined as the other tenants were now going to move in and I then asked them to cease marketing it.
I rang the agent but the manager who had sent the email was not available, so I spoke to two other people I know at the company saying that I believed that commission was payable for the introduction of a person/persons to a property for which they subsequently signed a contract to rent and commission was NOT payable for introduction of s person to me
I.e commission is not due just because an agent has introduced two people to me one year ago
Yes they rented the first flat from me and of course I paid commission for that, but now the same tenants have been introduced by me to another property of mine and have mow moved into that property on an AST but the agent had nothing to do with the tenants being offered the other flat, being shown the other flat nor did they play any part on the contract being drawn up and signed
Since last year their only involvement ( as I managed the property) was to write to the tenant asking if he wished to renew at first flat to which he did not reply
Then they started marketing it and had to communicate with him gpr viewings
At last viewing he told them he was moving to other flat
Agent says that because they introduced these two people to me eleven months ago (but never showed them the second flat even last year as it was occupied and unavailable) then if these two people rent any of my properties st any time then I owe comission and they will be demanding the money shortly
What do you think ,?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 1 year ago.

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

What does your agency agreement say about what an introduction is please?