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angrypirate

Lettings Agency Refusing To Modify Contract Terms

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Me and the missus have found a flat to rent in west london and we put an offer in that was negotiated up slightly and accepted by the LL. The agency have provided us with a contract (which we insisted on seeing before paying the holding deposit) however, the LA are now refusing to modify it in any way.

The missus is a trainee solicitor so she knows what she is talking about in requesting the removal/modification of some of the clauses, however the agreement is, as ever, heavily weighted towards the LL and has terms in which could land us with LA charges in the future (inc check out fee or renewal fee).

To make things even more annoying, the LA then proceeded to try and explain to mrs angrypirate what some of the clauses meant (half of which she was wrong on anyway)

Has anyone else encountered this? If so how did you get around this? Ive pulled off the LLs details of the land registry, but unfortunately his registered address is that of the flat we are renting.

Suggestions please?

Edited by angrypirate

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Tell them you are pulling out unless they agree to negotiate the clauses.

Lettings aren't exactly flying.

I'd also check whether they have actually spoken to the LL about this or are just trying to bully you. Request the LL's details and give him a call. If they refuse to give you his details go back to step 1!

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Me and the missus have found a flat to rent in west london and we put an offer in that was negotiated up slightly and accepted by the LL. The agency have provided us with a contract (which we insisted on seeing before paying the holding deposit) however, the LA are now refusing to modify it in any way.

The missus is a trainee solicitor so she knows what she is talking about in requesting the removal/modification of some of the clauses, however the agreement is, as ever, heavily weighted towards the LL and has terms in which could land us with LA charges in the future (inc check out fee or renewal fee).

To make things even more annoying, the LA then proceeded to try and explain to mrs angrypirate what some of the clauses meant (half of which she was wrong on anyway)

Has anyone else encountered this? If so how did you get around this? Ive pulled off the LLs details of the land registry, but unfortunately his registered address is that of the flat we are renting.

Suggestions please?

You arent going to like this but here goes... :(

If I was a landlord and some stroppy would be tenant wouldnt sign my contract I just wouldnt want that person as a tenant, sorry :unsure:

I mean if someone gives you aggro at the start are they more or less likely to give you grief during or at the end of a lease? <_<

If you arent happy with the contract and they dont want to change it simple, agree to disagree and find somewhere else to rent :blink:

This is probably why I always thought BTL was a lot of hassle :huh:

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You arent going to like this but here goes... :(

If I was a landlord and some stroppy would be tenant wouldnt sign my contract I just wouldnt want that person as a tenant, sorry :unsure:

I mean if someone gives you aggro at the start are they more or less likely to give you grief during or at the end of a lease? <_<

If you arent happy with the contract and they dont want to change it simple, agree to disagree and find somewhere else to rent :blink:

This is probably why I always thought BTL was a lot of hassle :huh:

For the record, its the LA objecting to changing anything

According to this stupid contract im not even allowed to open a window overnight. We also have to agree for are personal inforamtion to be used for marketing purposes by the LA not to mention pay the LA 90 quid for renewal of a contract. There is one clause that does effect the LL, but it contravens the tenants statutory rights. Quite frankly, 90% of the comments wont effect the LL in the slightest and he would probably be happy to see them go too. Its the LA who are effect by most of the proposed changes. And to top it off we are expected to pay £200 to the LA retards (apologies to any retards for classing them alongside LAs) for photocopying it. This is why im getting stroppy

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For the record, its the LA objecting to changing anything

According to this stupid contract im not even allowed to open a window overnight. We also have to agree for are personal inforamtion to be used for marketing purposes by the LA not to mention pay the LA 90 quid for renewal of a contract. There is one clause that does effect the LL, but it contravens the tenants statutory rights. Quite frankly, 90% of the comments wont effect the LL in the slightest and he would probably be happy to see them go too. Its the LA who are effect by most of the proposed changes. And to top it off we are expected to pay £200 to the LA retards (apologies to any retards for classing them alongside LAs) for photocopying it. This is why im getting stroppy

I am not surprised at that at all, the landlord has obviously contracted all this out to an agent for a fee

I'm sorry if my post saying "if I was the landlord..." misled you :huh:

Sounds like a sensible contract from the letting agents point of view? ;)

I think its the "agency problem" in economics?

I think (your gf will correct me?) that if parts of the contract are illegal you can't bind yourself to it and sign away your statutory rights?

The letting agent probably has more than fifty maybe one hundred of these in place, so they don't want the hassle of any being different from the template, sensibly from the point of view of their costs <_<

If they really wont change it (sensibly from your POV) and you don't want to sign it (sensibly from your POV), then its back on the flat hunt I'm afraid :(

Just because you don't think something is "fair" doesn't mean it isn't in someone else's best economic interests :(

Look at the housing market in Fulham for instance.... :rolleyes:

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Sounds greedy to me, tell them to poke it unless they change it, might as well at least call their bluff.

All businesses are greedy for profit aren't they? :unsure:

Especially if they have you over a barrel... :(

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I am not surprised at that at all, the landlord has obviously contracted all this out to an agent for a fee

I'm sorry if my post saying "if I was the landlord..." misled you :huh:

Sounds like a sensible contract from the letting agents point of view? ;)

I think its the "agency problem" in economics?

I think (your gf will correct me?) that if parts of the contract are illegal you can't bind yourself to it and sign away your statutory rights?

The letting agent probably has more than fifty maybe one hundred of these in place, so they don't want the hassle of any being different from the template, sensibly from the point of view of their costs <_<

If they really wont change it (sensibly from your POV) and you don't want to sign it (sensibly from your POV), then its back on the flat hunt I'm afraid :(

Just because you don't think something is "fair" doesn't mean it isn't in someone else's best economic interests :(

Look at the housing market in Fulham for instance.... :rolleyes:

Seems sensible advice to me. But, having a general dislike for bully-boy contracts I'd want to piss them off a bit before I walked away. Tell them you're going to think about it for a day. Don't contact them. If they chase you, for a start you've got a measure of their desperation, tell them you'll be in "soon" to sign it (if they ignore you or tell you goodbye, well, they may be in the position of strength) :( . As some more time passes give them a time to go in to sign it - then apologetically cancel at the last minute. As time passes the landlords will be getting aggro with them as it's void time (lost cash) on his or her place. The LA may have to explain the problem to the landlord who may then insist they accept your clauses. As you prevaricate look for other places - there are ALWAYS better places to rent if you have the time to look.

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Seems sensible advice to me. But, having a general dislike for bully-boy contracts I'd want to piss them off a bit before I walked away. Tell them you're going to think about it for a day. Don't contact them. If they chase you, for a start you've got a measure of their desperation, tell them you'll be in "soon" to sign it (if they ignore you or tell you goodbye, well, they may be in the position of strength) :( . As some more time passes give them a time to go in to sign it - then apologetically cancel at the last minute. As time passes the landlords will be getting aggro with them as it's void time (lost cash) on his or her place. The LA may have to explain the problem to the landlord who may then insist they accept your clauses. As you prevaricate look for other places - there are ALWAYS better places to rent if you have the time to look.

And the upside of that is? :o

Okay, so lets say you look for another month and can't find anything :blink:

Then you see a place with the same agent that you like and you WOULD be willing to sign one of these leases on :unsure:

Are the agent likely to rent to you if you've messed them around, eh...no :(

Its a small world, best not to sh1t where you (want to) live ;)

Be an adult agree to disagree and move on...

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And the upside of that is? :o

Okay, so lets say you look for another month and can't find anything :blink:

Then you see a place with the same agent that you like and you WOULD be willing to sign one of these leases on :unsure:

Are the agent likely to rent to you if you've messed them around, eh...no :(

Its a small world, best not to sh1t where you (want to) live ;)

Be an adult agree to disagree and move on...

Meh, your choice, but if I drive past one evening and I see that window you're OUT me ol' sunshine! ;)

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I would walk away. I don't agree with Neverland that the LL will have 50 properties - the vast majority of LLs in London have less than three properties so they'll be desperate for tenants.

Sorry I meant the letting agents will have lots of properties to deal with.... :blink:

If I was a landlord I would be pretty desperate (sp?) to avoid a difficult tenant, even more than a void ;)

Edited by Neverland

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I would not sign such a contract. Why don't you ask the LA for the landlord's contact information? They should be willing to share that with you - in any case, it should be on the draft contract.

Then call up the LL yourself and negotiate.

Best of luck!

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You arent going to like this but here goes... :(

If I was a landlord and some stroppy would be tenant wouldnt sign my contract I just wouldnt want that person as a tenant, sorry :unsure:

What, even if the clause was void in law and couldn't be enforced.

In that case I wouldn't want you as a landlord

tim

Edited by tim123

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Whilst a landlord is perfectly entitled to offer property on take it or leave it terms, what is being missed here is that it is an agent's duty to report all offers he receives to his client. If a potential tenant makes an offer along the lines of "We'll take a six month tenancy at X pounds per month on the terms of the draft agreement submitted subject to clauses 5, 7 and 9 being deleted" then the agent must report the offer. If he fails to do so he is failing in his duty. If he fails to do so solely on the grounds that clause 9 provides for a fee to be paid to him by the tenant on renewal, then his actions are grossly improper since he is acting in his own interest and not that of the landlord.

The OP should discover the name of the landlord by downloading details of the property on the Land Registry's site and report the conduct of the agent to the landlord, who may not care a fig if the windows are left open at night.

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I think you're being bluffed. The reality, as I discovered, was that the estate agent has a drawer full of contracts, each slightly different. Some favour the client more than others.

When I called the bluff on clauses, they ended up pulling a better one out of the drawer and then I crossed out some clauses in red pen and we both initialled them.

The reason the landlord wanted me in, and happy, was because he wanted a good tenant who'd just pay the rent and change the lightbulbs himself without phoning him all the time. And so it turned out.

So go and have a chat with the landlord. In this climate, someone with a secure job is valuable as a tenant, because so many people in London are facing the axe.

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Just cause it's in the contract doesn't make it binding.

e.g. if the agent put a clause in saying you couldn't have a friend stay over on pain of death, they wouldn't be entitled to kill you if you did so, even though you clearly contravened the contract.

Cross out the bits you don't like, initial them and send it back to them with the deposit.

Edited by frozen_out

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For the record, its the LA objecting to changing anything

According to this stupid contract im not even allowed to open a window overnight. We also have to agree for are personal inforamtion to be used for marketing purposes by the LA not to mention pay the LA 90 quid for renewal of a contract. There is one clause that does effect the LL, but it contravens the tenants statutory rights. Quite frankly, 90% of the comments wont effect the LL in the slightest and he would probably be happy to see them go too. Its the LA who are effect by most of the proposed changes. And to top it off we are expected to pay £200 to the LA retards (apologies to any retards for classing them alongside LAs) for photocopying it. This is why im getting stroppy

Ask for more information about the window opening as it might be something to do with the insurance. Are there any downstairs bedrooms? What is the exact wording of this clause?

They are obliged to give you a copy of the tenancy agreement. We have 2 original signed copies, one for our file (acting for LL) one for the tenant and the LL gets a photocopy. Is it just a penalty if you lose it?

No one has to agree to their personal information being used for marketing. You can opt out of this.

If you're not just being picky about some of the clauses then I would send the LA an email with an offer to rent the property outlining the clauses that you believe to be unfair. Only pick out the ones that can possibly affect you in the future so that they don't think you're being difficult for the sake of it bearing in mind that they may already have discussed all this with the LL.

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Ask for more information about the window opening as it might be something to do with the insurance. Are there any downstairs bedrooms? What is the exact wording of this clause?

They are obliged to give you a copy of the tenancy agreement. We have 2 original signed copies, one for our file (acting for LL) one for the tenant and the LL gets a photocopy. Is it just a penalty if you lose it?

No one has to agree to their personal information being used for marketing. You can opt out of this.

If you're not just being picky about some of the clauses then I would send the LA an email with an offer to rent the property outlining the clauses that you believe to be unfair. Only pick out the ones that can possibly affect you in the future so that they don't think you're being difficult for the sake of it bearing in mind that they may already have discussed all this with the LL.

Flat is 2rd floor flat.

I cant opt out of them using my personal information for marketing - its in the contract and they wont change it.

We've been told we may be able to add clauses at the bottom, so we are adding some that allow us to open windows at night and prevent our details being used for marketing purposes :P:P

Also thinking, as this property isnt managed, i think we are going to go to the landlord once the agency are out of the way and then go through and modify the contract. As it is between us and the LL the LA dont have a say in what we take out - including removing their checkout fees and contract renewal fees. :P

I cant find the LLs address on Land Reg. It lists the flat we are renting as their residence. It is in the contract that the LL must have permission from his lender to let it out so we are covered on that one.

I reckon we are going to see this sort of thing with most LAs so we've decided tol discuss things with the LL once the LA are out of the way.

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Flat is 2rd floor flat.

I cant opt out of them using my personal information for marketing - its in the contract and they wont change it.

We've been told we may be able to add clauses at the bottom, so we are adding some that allow us to open windows at night and prevent our details being used for marketing purposes :P:P

Also thinking, as this property isnt managed, i think we are going to go to the landlord once the agency are out of the way and then go through and modify the contract. As it is between us and the LL the LA dont have a say in what we take out - including removing their checkout fees and contract renewal fees. :P

I cant find the LLs address on Land Reg. It lists the flat we are renting as their residence. It is in the contract that the LL must have permission from his lender to let it out so we are covered on that one.

I reckon we are going to see this sort of thing with most LAs so we've decided tol discuss things with the LL once the LA are out of the way.

Err, if I was your and landlord and I used a lettings agency and you contacted me, I'd say:

"go talk to the lettings agency, thats what I pay them for" :blink:

So I wouldnt count on being able to talk to the landlord directly :huh:

As a landlord, I'd also be quite worried that you somehow found my contact details! :o

But I guess thats another reason why I wouldn't want to let property :(

Still I'm very glad it sounds like you've managed to come to a sensible agreement with the lettings agency :rolleyes:

I'd also recommend taking a signed copy of the agreement (tho not for £200!), they might well lose your agreement :o

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Err, if I was your and landlord and I used a lettings agency and you contacted me, I'd say:

"go talk to the lettings agency, thats what I pay them for" :blink:

So I wouldnt count on being able to talk to the landlord directly :huh:

As a landlord, I'd also be quite worried that you somehow found my contact details! :o

But I guess thats another reason why I wouldn't want to let property :(

Still I'm very glad it sounds like you've managed to come to a sensible agreement with the lettings agency :rolleyes:

I'd also recommend taking a signed copy of the agreement (tho not for £200!), they might well lose your agreement :o

The property is not managed by the LA - the LL only use the LA to find tenants. The LL manages the property from then on so hes literally only using them for advertising. He probably hates LAs as much as we do (heres to hoping anyway - if he turns out to be a LA himself, god it'll be frustrating)

Edited by angrypirate

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The property is not managed by the LA - the LL only use the LA to find tenants. The LL manages the property from then on so hes literally only using them for advertising. He probably hates LAs as much as we do (heres to hoping anyway - if he turns out to be a LA himself, god it'll be frustrating)

Oh, okay sounds like a plan then ;)

My mistake, sorry :(

He probably regards them as a necessary evil and not to be trusted <_<

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I cant find the LLs address on Land Reg. It lists the flat we are renting as their residence.

That's a pity.

It is in the contract that the LL must have permission from his lender to let it out so we are covered on that one.

Not quite. Insist on seeing the consent. If the agent brushes this aside, tell him that if you lose out because the consent was not obtained you will sue him for damages for breach of warranty of authority.

I reckon we are going to see this sort of thing with most LAs so we've decided tol discuss things with the LL once the LA are out of the way.

Once you are signed up, there is no reason why the landlord should change the terms.

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Flat is 2rd floor flat.

I cant opt out of them using my personal information for marketing - its in the contract and they wont change it.

This is illegal.

Tell then that you will complain to the Data Protection Registrar (or whatever he's called this week)

tim

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I cant find the LLs address on Land Reg. It lists the flat we are renting as their residence. It is in the contract that the LL must have permission from his lender to let it out so we are covered on that one.

Apologies if already mentioned, but this rings alarm bells.

If the property is mortgaged, this could mean they don't have a BTL mortgage. That means you have no rights if they default. Make sure they have permission from the lender to let.

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