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Help needed to get out of agreement with agent


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I have and agreement with a letting agent that guarantees a rental income regardless if there is a sub-tenant in there or not. I am due to renew the tenancy agreement in april but uinfortunately the letting agent has contacted me to tell me that they are going to pay me less this year due to the current economic conditions. The loss is not a massive amount but they have not been the best letting agents and i have decided to let them go. The current sub-tenant is really happy there and is great at paying up and looking after the place and i would like to keep him in. Unfortunately the agreement with the letting agent is that i cannot sign a new tenancy agreement with the sub-tenant for six months after i cancel my agreement with the letting agent. I know this is somewhat standard but i dont really want to go through the hassle of kicking him out and finding someone new.

The question i have is that the agreement between the sub-tenant and the letting agent is in the husbands name and the letting agent knows nothing of his wife who will be moving in with him shortly due to a new baby on the way. Can i sign a new agreement with his wife only (same surname if that matters) without incurring the penalty stipulated in my agreement with the letting agent??

I would appreciate if anyone has come across a situation like this and can give me some advice or a workaround. I only have about three weeks before i need to make a decision so anything would help!!

Many Thanks


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Hi Stef,

Firstly, I am not sure how enforceable the letting agent terms of business are within law. Most agents have these restrictive clauses in their agreements to frighten landlords ..... in my experience (I am a landlord and a letting agent) they are rarely enforced.

I have just taken over a property - with tenants in situ - on behalf of a landlord who was also receiving a guaranteed rent from a different letting agent.

My advice - be robust.

Tell the letting agent that because they have changed the terms of your agreement with them (ie reduced the rent) you will be terminating with them in 3 weeks time. Make direct contact with the tenants - at the same time - and inform them that YOU will be taking charge of the tenancy (in 3 weeks time) and all future rent payments should be made directly to you.

I would assume, by the way, that although the agent is proposing to pay less money to you ... the rent to the tenant remains unchanged (thereby meaning the agent is simply increasing his profit margin at your expense).

You might need to create a new tenancy agreement (this would be good practice) and you should name the husband and the wife on the agreement. The only other thing to worry about is the Security Deposit. Your tenants need to demand that the letting agent return the deposit to them .... then you need to collect and protect the deposit, in a government approved scheme, once the tenants hand it over to you.

In my experience, getting the deposit out of the failing letting agent is usually harder than moving the tenancy.

In summary - tell the letting agent it is all over, don't be threatened and take control.

Good luck,


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I would be very interested in knowing what sort of agreement you have with the agent. I have come across agencies that do this and am presuming that you are letting the property to them and they in turn are sub-letting the property to the occupier/s. Do you have two contracts/agreements with the agent? One for the property and another for what you receive? If so, then check your terms and conditions and what it says about changes to your terms. If there is nothing to say how these are done or what notice they have to give you, then the agent cannot just change them at will. A new contract would have to be negotiated!

As an agent and a landlord I agree with Mark, these clauses can frighten landlords, especially the renewal clauses that bill landlords very six months for little or no work. We do not have these clauses in our contracts with landlords. If you cannot find your copy of the documents then they must supply you with a copy, but be prepared to pay a fee for them - after all you already had one "free"! :rolleyes:

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