Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum
bobbo

New T's and C's from letting agent

Recommended Posts

So having just negotiated away my spending money in this year's rent increase, contract turned up and all sorts of sundry fees have been added to the early surrender clause (my guess is that these are related to the impending tenant fee ban) and payment demanded earlier. Have emailed to complain but what are my options with regard to revised contract terms?

They still want 80+vat for the privilege. 

Anyone tried amending a contract by hand before returning?

Have been here 4 years and while I don't intend to end contract early at this stage they seem  excessive and contrary to previous agreements. So more a matter of principle. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, bobbo said:

So having just negotiated away my spending money in this year's rent increase, contract turned up and all sorts of sundry fees have been added to the early surrender clause (my guess is that these are related to the impending tenant fee ban) and payment demanded earlier. Have emailed to complain but what are my options with regard to revised contract terms?

They still want 80+vat for the privilege. 

Anyone tried amending a contract by hand before returning?

Have been here 4 years and while I don't intend to end contract early at this stage they seem  excessive and contrary to previous agreements. So more a matter of principle. 

Bear in mind that estate agents make the rules up as they go along. You don't need to renew your contract as you'll already have a periodic tenancy. Doubtless your landlord will be being charged as well.

I'd tell them you don't want to pay fees in light of the upcoming fee ban. They'll hate it, but you can say that it's a condition for you that you landlord covers this fee instead or that you continue with a periodic tenancy.

(If necessary) you can accept the rent increase by starting to pay it. Bear in mind that you lose the security of tenure of course vs a fixed contract. You'll get two months, assuming you pay monthly and can give one months notice to leave.

Bear in mind that in some areas rents are falling. I'd check the RICs sentiment survey for your area under "lettings" before you agree to a rent rise to see what direction they're heading in.

http://www.rics.org/uk/knowledge/market-analysis/rics-residential-market-survey/

It'll also give you an idea of what the market is like and what your hand looks like in negotiating these fees.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't pay any more fees. They should be satisfied with the rent increase. Putting on extra fees is taking the piss.

Call the letting agent's bluff perhaps. They are probably trying it on. After all, is he/she going to risk jeopardising a business relationship with the landlord with a long term tenant?

If the letting agent start playing silly buggers then consider informing the landlord directly. It might upset the apple cart with the agent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I have amended a contract by hand, signed, photocopied and then returned as a registered letter. Can't think of any AST I have ever signed that did not need something changed.

We recently came to the end of a one year AST and the agent bombarded us with letters and emails and phone calls. We ignored these largely but when pressed at the very end said that we didn't want to sign a further AST and no action was required from them.

It's a game of nerves. Lots of similar properties to rent in our area.

Did your LL or agent serve a section 21 on you at the start of the tenancy or similar? Is there anything in your AST to cover this?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the feedback,

Have gone back to the agent and apparently it's a new policy, can't be changed, won't discount the fee etc etc. 

Will only affect me if I end tenancy early, so it might be a bit cheeky to amend by hand, but could be worth a try, particularly where I feel they are in breach of an earlier contract.

If I don't ammend, may sign V.C. although doubtful to it's effectiveness. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never sign a contract with a clause in it you do not like. Period. Even if it is unenforceable (and are you sure it is unenforceable?) you do not want to be getting into arguments. Apart from that you cannot be sure that an adjudicator (or even a county court judge) will get the law right.

If an agent says something is their policy and cannot be changed, you respond by saying that your unchangeable policy is not to be browbeaten into signing unreasonable contracts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, satch said:

I agree with you 100%, however most people when they sign an AST (and other contracts) in truth do not really read them and in many cases I believe do not understand them fully either. EG all the questions re S21 notice period etc and I guess very few understand the 'anomaly' of the last day of the contact before it switches to periodic. IE no notice is required as the contact ends and you can just give back the keys, one day later and the contact is periodic with the one and two month notice periods. And of course EAs either do not understand the AST contact or chose to ignore it (protected deposits and the absolute need to 'renew' the AST every year).

This also applies to employment contacts as well where companies try to put in clauses that if you leave you in a position where basically you can't earn a living

Years ago, after selling a company, I had to sign a three year service contract with terms that, if I were to leave prematurely, I would effectively not be able to earn a living. My lawyer said "Just sign it, it's far too onerous and will not stand up in court". As it happened the PLC that bought our company got into financial difficulty within the three years and I ended up getting my original company for a pound :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There will always be cases where it is clear a provision will be unenforceable e.g. an agreement by a tenant in a lease of residential property for seven years or less to repair the exterior. However, as I say, even if the case is clear, you do not want to get into an argument or risk a judge getting it wrong.

The sad truth is that agents get away with stuff they should not get way with because people let them. As suggested, this is partly due to tenants not realising they are being stitched up, but also to a failure to stand up to agents. People are just too deferential to men in suits!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎04‎/‎05‎/‎2017 at 1:52 PM, bobbo said:

Have gone back to the agent and apparently it's a new policy, can't be changed, won't discount the fee etc etc. 

Most agents will tell you some of the fee goes towards negotiation. (Even if it's just the initial fee). Ask them where the negotiation is!

Again, I'd also highlight that you don't have to sign a new contract at all, no matter what they say. Play silly buggers if you want to and say you want to discuss the new terms with a solicitor. You don't have one, so you'll need to find one. 8 weeks saying you're looking for one means you'll be in a periodic tenancy anyway.

Not legal advice - not a lawyer, but a lot of this is indeed  "standing up to the men in suits".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Landlord is a bit of a stickler on the contract. Signed the form and sent it back but added "if applicable" to the fee I didn't like. At the end of the day if I break the tenancy I expect it to be expensive but I also expect the LL to change agents or sell so would rather all my money goes to paying LL out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • The Prime Minister stated that there were three Brexit options available to the UK:   36 members have voted

    1. 1. Which of the Prime Minister's options would you choose?


      • Leave with the negotiated deal
      • Remain
      • Leave with no deal

    Please sign in or register to vote in this poll. View topic


×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.