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Discussion Starter #1
My letting agreement is due to expire on March 28th and so this week I informed them I didn't want to renew their lease. They kindly sent me an email today to say i would owe them £728 in cancellation fees if I do this?? Surely at the end of the 6months contract I owe nothing??

To top this off, when I instructed them to manage my property, they kindly changed my energy supplier without my knowledge or permission, 6 weeks before I had even moved out! This is illegal!

Theiving toerags!!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Cheers Al :thumbs: I have drafted a nicely worded email which lists all the failures on there behalf, when I agreed for them to carry out carry out the full management of my property.

I am going to send it first thing in the morning and hopefully speak to them about the fees.

I might just give GTLeigh a PM if he doesn't mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I read through my T/C and nowhere does it state a 'Cease Management fee'?? ...but Countrywide lettings are the contract holders...Entwistle Green are the letting agents. I presume Entwistle are a subsiduary to Countrywide?

So, is it Entwistle who are demanding the £700 or Countrywide? I have sent a tasty email to both and spoke to Countrywide who have told me to speak to Entwistle as they are my letting agents and are telling me the arrangement was with Entwistle?? Confused?

I have rung Entwistle but either no one answers or the relevant person to speak to is "unavailable"

The contract expires on the 28th March but I have to give indication by the 21st January or they automatically roll it over for another 6 months...very convenient.
 

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Paul, happy to help our strap line is " Not all letting agents are the same....."*

I know there are many even the corporates that give our industry a bad name. *

The advice given is my personal opinion and should any further action be taken then you must seek proper legal advice.*

Anyway.*

1. *If there is no Cancellation/termination clause in the T&Cs then it doesn't apply. If its not in the t&cs then let them persue you as they are probably trying it on, it wouldn't stand up in court in any case

2. *Who is the agreement with countrywide or Entwhistles? As this is your contact point.*

3. *Is your tenant staying on? *If so make sure there isn't a sneaky introduction/renewal fee included in the T&Cs. If so it may fall into the Foxtons style issue*

Foxtons* - The Office of Fair Trading

4. *Rolling over to a further therm is pretty standard, we too do this and have an early termination /cancellation fee/period but it only applies mid term, not at the end, at the end your free to go with one months notice, again it's in the T&Cs that the landlord signs at the outset, then no one is surprised. It's all about managing expectations.*

5. Utilities can be a nightmare, but switching 6 weeks before you moved out is a no no, we do switch all tenants (if they agree) at the Start of the tenancy, as managing over 700 properties with different utility companies can be a full time job, we sub it out to a third part handling company that manages elec, gas, water and council tax for us. You can report them to "offgen" if you want to as there are stringent rules on the distance selling for utilities.*

6. *If all else fails they should be knowing countrywide be a regulated agend governd by Letting Agencies | Association of Residential Letting Agents | ARLA or The Property Ombudsman, I'm sure they would love to get their teeth into some unfair terms of poor performance issues.

Hope the above helps a little, I know it's frustrating, I'm an agent ! And it makes me rant at the so called professionals.

If you want to chat please pm me your contact details and I'll give you a call*

Leigh ......one of the good guys !
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi Leigh

Many thanks for giving your time to reply with such detail. I'm managing a 3year old at the moment :) so will take a look later at your reply in more detail if that's ok.

There are a few things you have said which have rung some bells with me regarding renewal fees etc. Countrywide Lettings have mentioned that they will charge £150 to renew the agreement. This is what perplexes me as to why I need to pay a cease management fee if I have to otherwise pay a renewal fee?

I spoke with one of the agents at Entwistle today and he said that he is not in a position to comment on fees etc but said if my T/C states not Cease Management fee then "stick with it and don't pay" a surprise response from one of their own! He also said that it pretty much is a case by case assesment as to fees and charges?

If you don't mind Leigh I would like to give you a call at some point when it's convenient for you to discuss said issues. I will PM you a little later to exchange contact details.

Many thanks
Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hey all, just a quick update.

I want to start by saying a very big thank you to GTLeigh, as without his help, I simply would not have stood a chance of challanging a large letting agency who were quite simply trying to fleece me every which way they could and in doing so helping to create an unfair reputation for the majority of decent honest hardworking agents out there.

With Leigh's assistance, we have managed to get the agency to admit their lack of competency and agree to reduce the fee significantly and terminate the agremeent as I requested.

Its been a valuable lesson learnt and a challange I think even Leigh enjoyed at times. I think if we are honest, we came out with a good result against what was a very very poor letting agent with no regard for customer service high regard for profiteering.

Leigh your a credit to your profession and a bloody good bloke, so cheers pal! I'l definitely be buying you a lemonade or two when your up north:thumbs:


Regards
Paul
 

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Thanks for your kind words Paul, it was a pleasure helping :thumbs:
 

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I'm a landlord myself and if you signed a 6 month AST you only need to give 1 months notice under the law. Landlords have to give their tenants 2 months notice if they want their property back. Letting agents are middle men/women who charge both landlords and tenants. Be very careful of what terms you sign up to with any letting agent.
 

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I'm a landlord myself and if you signed a 6 month AST you only need to give 1 months notice under the law. Landlords have to give their tenants 2 months notice if they want their property back. Letting agents are middle men/women who charge both landlords and tenants. Be very careful of what terms you sign up to with any letting agent.
The issue Paul had was with his Letting Agent not his Tenants, the Agent wanted to charge him to end their Management Agreement with them, something I find wholly unacceptable at the end of a fixed term contract. The management agreement did, i believe have some dubious terms. Paul managed to get out of his agreement, and is happy with the result.

Your right about the Agent being the middle man, and yes we do charge for our services, some Landlords who have experience and time decide to do it themselves, some don't and prefer to pay for the services of a professional, some people service their cars themselves and some pay a garage to do it for them its a choice.

The terms of business provided by an Agent should be clear, concise and comprehensive showing what the agent will do, when they will do it and importantly how much they charge, if not don't sign it !

:thumbs:
 
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