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Query reasonable costs re-letting flat

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I have a query regarding costs my previous landlord would like me to cover. Please find below some background before I get into my question:


- I have renewed in May a one-year fixed term rental agreement with my landlord through the agency after a first fixed term contract.

- In June I had a job offer I could not refuse to work in Amsterdam. I notified immediately my landlord who instructed the agency to put back the property on the market to find new tenants. I provided as well a target date for the leave and been informed I would have to cover any potential lost of rental income from the landlord (which is ok)

- We helped with the visits being flexible to ensure easy access to the flat, provided back the keys and the flat in good condition and agreed to cover the 2 weeks of rents between our departure and the arrival of the new tenants

- The contract did not contain a break-out clause but was saying that tenant will agree to cover reasonable costs to market the flat for re-letting

- Rent was 1,325 and deposit is 1,850.


So I have received an invoice from my landlord yesterday evening with the following breakdown:

Total fee from agent £2404.04

- Renewal Fee for the period 24/4/10 – 31/7/10 @7.5% inc vat £377.16

+ your missing payment for last week you stayed in the flat: £303

+ loss of rental income (gap till new tenancy move in): £303

Total: £2634.88

I am happy to pay the 2 weeks of rental which is normal. However I dispute the total fee of 2,404 as I do not think this is reasonable compared to the rent I used to pay or value of the deposit (This fee is the fee of the agency to get new tenants). When I talked to the agency in July I was told I would have to cover the renewal fee for the period where I was in the flat (£377.16).


Based on your experience do you think this is a resonable amount to pay? If not what should I do to get an agreement with my landlord or which process I should use if we cannot agree?


Many thanks!

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That would seem a ludicrous amount. However, you are liable for the landlords actual financial loss, so it really all comes down to the terms of the contract between the landlord and the agent - could be that the agent are basically ripping the landlord off...but if thats the case, then you are unfortunately liable.


I would be asking for a copy of the terms showing how the £2.5k cost has been incurred.

7 years in retail customer service


Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years


By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.


Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.


Please click the star if I have helped!!

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In a situation like this you have 2 choices...

1) Continue paying rent for the remainder of the contract; or

2) Negotiate an early surrender


The key thing about 2) is that the landlord does not have to agree anything and it appears that the landlord has charged you the costs of putting him back in the position he would have been if you had kept to your side of the contract.


It is not he who has broken the contract - it is you - and so he should not have to bear any additional costs.


Although the amounts you have been charged are far from insonsiderable, they are a lot lower than your contracted liability, which is to pay rent until next May - 7 months @ £1325 = £9275.


The actual maths in your breakdown doesn't work, but if I make an assumption as follows:


Agency re-let fee: £1325 + VAT - one month is quite usual, or it may be that the landlord has to pay a percentage of the rent for your entire contract, even if you go early / don't pay.

Renewal Fee - I am not sure what this is? I guess it is something you would have had to pay if you'd stayed - presumably an unpaid fee from when the new agreement was written up.

Missing Rent - speaks for itself

Lost Rent - totally reasonable

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Quite agree with Snorkerz btw. Its the £2404 cost I'm not quite understanding, but as said above this could be a percentage of the entire contracted rent.

7 years in retail customer service


Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years


By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.


Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.


Please click the star if I have helped!!

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