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Can letting agents claim a fee if I buy rented property?

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  • Can letting agents claim a fee if I buy rented property?

    We have been living in rented accomodation for the past 9 months and have approached the landlord with a view to buying the property.

    Today the landlord spoke to the letting agent and let them know of our plan (why he told them I don't know!). They are claiming that they entitled to 2.5% of the sale as they introduced us.

    Is this the case?

    If so, is there any way to avoid it?

    Many Thanks

  • #2
    I don't see how the letting agent can claim a percentage of the sale unless there are express terms for this provided in the letting agreement.

    If there is such a clause, then yourself and the landlord definitely need to look at the terms of such a clause to see how to proceed.

    However, if there is no such clause then I don't see how the letting agent can make any such claim.

    Telling the letting agent about the possible sale of the property isn't unusual - last year I raised the question of buying our rented property to the landlord, and the letting agency needed to be informed simply because it would need to work around the contract expiration date.

    Perhaps this is where the claim in this instance is being made - letting agreements commonly have 6 month minimum periods, and this usually needs to expire before otherwise it goes against the contractual terms already agreed. Again, worth looking into if this is the case.

    Hopefully that will help, and hopefully you can get the issue addressed.

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    • #3
      Check your tenancy agreement, it is unusual to have this clause in the tenants agreement. It is more usual for it to be in the terms of business that is between the agent and the landlord. If it is in your tenancy agreement, it may be that it is a not something that the agent will chase, but im sure that your landlord would not risk loosing a sale and come to some arrangement. But study yourtenancy agreement, and if you have some your terms of business, and they must be signed to be upstanding. Good luck.

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      • #4
        Agreed with altafica and Brian, unless there is a clause within the tenancy agreement then there is no claim, certainly not on you. There may however be a clause within the agreement between your landlord and the agency.

        However most tenancy agreements are 12 months, given you are at month 9 and most house purchases take a few months to complete you could discuss agreeing the sale with your landlord for a completion date just after the agreement runs out. Your landlord and you then give standard notice during this process.

        Do they (letting agent) then really need to know?
        Last edited by brian; 21-10-2007, 10:18 AM.

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        • #5
          I run a Letting agents in Southampton and your landlord would only be liable to pay a fee to his agent if it is in their terms of business which the landlord will have signed when instructing the agent.

          This is not an unusual clause so it is likely that they have his signed consent somewhere on file, however it would be advisable for him to request to see it before agreeing to pay.

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          • #6
            The things some agents try to get away with!
            If you've got it, Property Flaunt it! - www.PropertyFlaunt.com

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