Do landlords have to pay letting agent’s fee if tenant is evicted for legal reasons?
Letting Agents

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11 Posts
1 month ago

Can anyone advise whether the fee structure described in the letting agent’s terms below are legal, or whether there might be an alternative way of letting  for a non-local landlord? It doesn’t seem right that the landlord has to pay agent’s fees if the tenant breaks the TA, or indeed the law and has to leave as a result.


Since I don’t live close to my property, located in  London, historically I had little choice, but to use a letting agent. Ideally I would  like to pay a fixed fee for tenant find, administrator the rent myself and find a way that a tenant to pickup keys should they lose their own.  Unfortunately, this is not an option of my local letting agent where minimum  service is rent management at about 10% of the rent + tenancy start up fees of several hundred. Furthermore, recently they’ve moved to longer contracts,  current tenant offer needs a guarantor, the TA is over two years without break clauses, and they have added clauses in their TOB to ensure their fees under any circumstance.  They seem to be trying to get whichever is the larger amount: either the total amount of fees for the duration of the tenancy, irrespective of residency, or a percentage of the rent for the duration of residency should it be longer than the TA and then there’s  another minimum amount.


I’m concerned about taking on too much risk and having to pay

the agent should the tenant have to leave early even when its the tenants fault.

I refer, in particular, to clauses 4.3, 4.4, 4.8 and 4.11 below. It’s also in general difficult to know which clauses are statutory, and which are the agent’s home grown ones.  



4. OUR FEES (Letting agent TOB)

4.1 Our fee is calculated as a percentage of the rent for the entire period of

the Contractual Term.

4.2 Our fee for the duration of the Contractual Term becomes due upon the signing of the Tenancy Agreement and each renewal or continuation; for Your convenience we accept payment of our total fees by equal instalments throughout the Contractual Term. Our fee is calculated against the total rent amount stated in the Tenancy Agreement and instalments are deducted pro-rata from each rent payment received from the Tenant.

4.3 If You and the Tenant agree to end the Tenancy before its expiry, then the unpaid balance of our fees for the rest of the term of the Tenancy becomes due and payable immediately in full. If the early termination has been initiated by the Tenant we will try, upon Your instruction and where practical, to recover the losses You incur through reletting the Property.

4.4 Should You decide to collect the rent directly from Your Tenant we require one month's notice to change the service and advise Your Tenant. As we would no longer be able to deduct the fee from the rent, all fees due up to the end date of the Tenancy are payable immediately and lettings fees will remain due for any extension or renewal of the Tenancy (subject to clauses 2.4 and 3.4).

4.5 Where more than one Tenant is introduced by us the fee will be payable for the duration of the Contractual Term for any period that any of the Tenants remain in the Property.

4.6 Where a Tenant introduced by us is replaced as a Tenant (whether or not under a formal Tenancy Agreement) the fee will remain payable to Frank Harris & Co. for as long as the new Tenant continues to rent the Property.

4.7 If Your Property is let for less than six months, we will obtain identification from the Tenant and collect rent for the duration of the contract in advance. Fee for our Short Let Full Management service is 26% + VAT for the duration of the Contractual Term payable in advance.

4.8 If You sell or otherwise transfer the Property during the Contractual Term, all fees up to the end of the Tenancy become due before the exchange of contracts with the new owner and where possible we will take the balance of fees owing from the next rental payment.

4.9 If You do not sign this document but instruct us to proceed with marketing the Property or accept viewings at the Property then You will be bound by all of its terms.

4.10 Where You withdraw from concluding a Tenancy after You had accepted an offer with a proceedable tenant and contracts had been issued, we reserve the right to charge You one year's fees at the agreed rental amount.

4.11 A minimum fee of £2,000 is applicable to every Tenancy.

4.12 Throughout the duration of the Tenant's stay in the Property we reserve

the right to make changes to these terms and conditions

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