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Covid 19 Rent Reductions impact on Commision

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Author Topic: Covid 19 Rent Reductions impact on Commision  (Read 189 times)
Newbie
Posts: 2

I like property

« on: April 21, 2020, 08:20:25 PM »

I would like advice please. I have a tenancy which is 30 months old and is continuing as a periodic tenancy. I was contacted by my excellent tenants who are experiencing financial difficulties due to a lost job and struggling with their business during the Covid 19 Pandemic.

They asked for a 50% rent reduction for 3 months from April to June with a small increase in the full rent from July. Myself and my wife have a relatively small mortgage and have been happy with the tenants who have a young family ( their son was born since they were tenants). We decided that in these unprecedented times that everyone has to try to help each other.

I advised Dexters of this rent reduction in writing which they acknowledged 10 days later.

I have now just discovered that they have deducted their commission based on the full rental amount rather than the reduced amount, which is what I was expecting.

I am appalled  that  they have decided to do this though not surprised as they are truly one of the worst companies that I have ever had the misfortune to deal with.

Has anyone else experienced a similar situation. It is certainly immoral but is it illegal and do I have any recourse ?

It leaves a bad taste in the mouth and I feel that Dexters should be named and shamed.

They donít have a Social Media presence which I think tells you everything.

I appreciate any feedback

Thanks

Mister T
Newbie
Posts: 5

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« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2020, 10:47:28 AM »

I don't have knowledge of rights unfortunately - but they are listed on Trustpilot if you'd like to name and shame, seems like they deserve an honest review with that behaviour... plenty of others unhappy on there too: https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/dexters.co.uk
Global Moderator
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Posts: 3412

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« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2020, 11:32:10 AM »

The Terms of Business you signed, freely, should show whether the amount to be deducted in specified in %age terms or absolute £ terms (still based off a percentage, obviously)... but whatever you signed should help. If it was stated as 10% and your rent was £1,000 then they'd be due £100... if you raised the rent to £1,200 then they'd quickly take £120, I'm sure... so if you lower it to £800 then they should take £80... however, whether what you signed allows for changes mid-contract is a question I'd have no understanding of... I have found that Agents often work terms into contracts that benefit them (no surprise there, right?) and are pretty watertight. You should review what you signed first, be sure of your facts, then approach them... I don't think the story, as described, gives me confidence you contacted them to advise them, and sought solid confirmation of the change their end. It feels like you rather assumed it... in a fair and honest world there's nothing wrong with that... in your world exists an Agent.
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« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2020, 11:40:06 PM »

To be fair to the agents, they won't actually be doing any less work than they usually do...
Global Moderator
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« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2020, 08:43:16 AM »

Or any more if he'd raised the rent.
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Sr. Member
Posts: 406

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« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2020, 02:17:11 PM »

A percentage of the rent always was a lousy approximation for the work done: a £1,000 a month property doesn't take twice as much looking after as a £500 a month one. It's more a rule-of-thumb for how much they can squeeze out of the landlord for monitoring a standing order and sending a plumber out once a year.

Having said that, it does sound like the OP has tried to impose this unilaterally on the agent. He's negotiated it with the tenant and then presented it to the agent as a fait accompli.
Newbie
Posts: 2

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« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2020, 12:54:45 AM »

Thanks, for the feedback.

To be clear I did notify the company of my intention to accept a rent reduction and after 10 days they acknowledged but did not advise their intention to continue to charge the full commission.

I wrote to the company and in fairness a senior manager contacted me and agreed to waive the extra commission in this instance.

We had a chat and I pointed out that if I had increased the rent they would have charged more and as a client who has bought and sold 2 properties with them in 5 years and rented out continuously for 4 that I expected them to be flexible and fair.

His initial argument was that their overheads are high and it disrupts their business model if they accept a reduction in planned income. I pointed out that every business is affected by this situation and many have / will be destroyed.

I asked if the company were furloughing staff and he said yes more than 80% so when I pointed out that their overheads had therefore been significantly reduced he agreed to reduce the commission in line with the rent. Alls well that ends well.

Thanks
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