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Tenant leaving early - can I get partial refund of Letting fees from Agent?

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Author Topic: Tenant leaving early - can I get partial refund of Letting fees from Agent?  (Read 175 times)
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Posts: 2

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« on: May 24, 2021, 02:12:33 AM »

Hi there,
Hope someone can help with some advice I really need!

I have a Tenancy agreement for 3 years which began in January. I did this through a well known agent who charged 11% + vat for the three years. Unfortunately, these fees have been charged up front (to be honest, I missed that part in the discussions we had when this was all organised). So in the last 5 months, I have profited by the princely sum of 28!!!

My problem is that due to COVID, my tenants are losing their business, and they are unable to afford to pay rent

In a way to make things easier for everyone, they have offered to vacate the premise, let me keep the deposit, and allow me to find another tenant asap. I don't really have much option as the alternative is they stay, can't pay me rent and then I have to go through the whole eviction route, and probably still not get any money back.

The question I have is that can I request a partial refund of the tenancy fee for the 31 months that remained of the rental agreement, from the agent?
According to the agent, the tenants are responsible for covering that loss, either they find a replacement tenant, or they pay me the tenancy fee money for the 31 months so I don't lose out. But they have no money to pay this to me.

Also, would I be able to terminate my agreement with the agent to allow me to find a different (cheaper) agent if possible, considering their tenants have caused this issue and it was not broken by me?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks
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« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2021, 08:50:02 AM »

You mean that you've already asked the Agent and they've said "no", don't you? So what you now mean is whether you can force the issue, legally? I think not. I reckon their Terms of Business will be cast-iron. But that's what you should be taking a look at... we can't know what you've signed-up to, you see? Whatever you signed-up to you should honour, of course.

The problem is... you don't really seem to understand what you've signed up to, either. Missing the fact that you'd pay all of the fees up-front is... well, what can I say? Careless?

Lastly, their Tenant didn't cause the issue... your Tenant did... the Agent doesn't have a Tenant (or shouldn't). They're just your Agent. If the tenancy has ended you would think it should be possible to fire the Agent and go with someone else... otherwise the implication is the agreement you have with the Agent is, somehow, perpetual... which would be odd.
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« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2021, 03:03:58 PM »

If the tenant they found moves out,you have no obligation to stay with the agent.You have no case against the agents for the lost fees. I am very surprised that you gave a 3 year lease to anyone,let alone a self-employed  couple,in the midst of the pandemic.It is never a good idea.Start with 6 months next time,then go onto periodic. 
Newbie
Posts: 2

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« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2021, 11:24:13 AM »

Thanks both for your advice.
I suppose some lessons learnt from me for next time.
Newbie
Posts: 2

I like property

« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2021, 06:52:59 PM »

I know it's too late for this, but why do you go with a letting agent in the first place?

There are plenty of online agents / services that you can use which will do it for free (mashroom) or cheap (openrent). And it sounds like you're managing everything yourself by the sounds of it.
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