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Hi,

 

I'm one of two tenants (spouse and I) on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) agreement whose fixed term ends at the end of the month. The agency recently proposed a new fixed term agreement, but we now want to continue on a Statutory Periodic Tenancy. We are aware of the risks, and are willing to take them. We made it absolutely clear that we are not signing another document (so no agreed periodic tenancy). However, the agents still want to charge us £70 per head (£140 in total) for every six month period of the SPT. They justify this with our tenancy agreement which reads among the obligations of the tenant: "To pay £70 inclusive of VAT per tenant & guarantor for each extension of the Tenancy."

 

When pressed that this would be for no work at all, they replied:

The fee of £70 for each tenant is not an admin fee for [LA], it is a renewal admin fee which use to pay [insurance provider] in order to renew the tenant references and to ensure their insurance is still in place. [insurance provider] charge us [=LA] £90 for a 12 months extension or £70 for a 6 months extension whether it is a fixed term or periodic agreement.
I've read a number of posts like 218974-Fees-charged-for-going-into-Statutory-Periodic-Tenancy or 395672-Rollover-To-Periodic-Tenancy (links removed due to insufficient privileges), but I think our case is marginally different:

 

  • Our lease does not specify what an "extension" is.
  • The agents claim it's not for them. However I cannot see that this actually in my (and not the landlord's) interest to "renew the tenant references" and to "ensure their insurance is still in place".

The question is now: what can I do about it?

 

We will definitely contact the Landlord and see if we can work it out with him directly (this may take some time, as I only have postal address). But with respect to the agency - is there a good strategy to move on?

 

  • Play the delay game: Just do nothing.
  • Is there a fixed interpretation of the term "extension"? (* see footnote)
  • Dispute the fee as unfair (are there precedents)?
  • What are the consequences of non-payment?

I mean £140 is a significant amount of money, but probably not enough to being sued out of the house for breach of contract (I can live with two months' notice, or I would not be going for a SPT, but anything shorter would be a pain. Same holds with any kind of legal proceedings).

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Footnote:

(*) Ha. Just found the following at the end of the tenancy agreement:

“Term” or “Tenancy” includes any extension or continuation of the contractual Tenancy or any statutory periodic Tenancy arising after the expiry of the original Term.

This would imply, that a SPT is NOT an extension. But unfortunately I am not a lawyer.

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As Mariner says (and he is one of the most experienced posters on here) tell the letting agent to "do one"...

 

Your contract is with the Landlord and not the letting agent.

I am not a solicitor :!::!:

 

Most of my knowledge came from this site :-D:-D

 

If I have been helpful in any way at all .............. Please click my star..... :-(:-(

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As Mariner says (and he is one of the most experienced posters on here) tell the letting agent to "do one"...

 

Your contract is with the Landlord and not the letting agent.

 

 

Thank you TCCs I am only a LL with experience of a mixed small portfolio. I would wish to bese informed, even by snail mail. of any LA charges applicable to T that was contrary to my LA/LL Contract. In Oct 14 LAs became liable for more contractual breaches.

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yep agree, LA is just trying it on.

talk to LL and let it roll over to SPT.

He could issue S21, but that would give you at least two months, more like 4 if he wants you out.

But why would LL if you are good tenants and pay on time.

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Let me guess. The insurance provider and the Letting Agent have a little agreement where the Letting Agent gets a commission of a large chunk of your £70 once they have paid it over.

 

This is so bad I think you should consider naming your letting agent and "insurance provider". There are no forum rules against this as far as I am aware - many people name the agents they are in dispute with.

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if LL has insurance, ( maybe arranged by Agent ) usually on a yearly basis, surely this would be included as part of the fee LL pays Agent and probably covered or included in the rental cost; so nothing will change when it goes periodic.

Just Agent looking for extras! as they do!

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