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ddimitris21
15-09-2009, 11:21 AM
Hi,

If anyone could give me some advise I would be really greatful.

My partner and I are thinking to rent a flat that we found through an agency (well known agency in the London area).

The agency is asking us to sign a minimum of 12-month contract AND does not accept to have a break clause in it (for after the first 6 initial months) - they say this is now not acceptable due to the economic situation.

On the other hand they are prepared to sort of "be understanding" and if we decide to leave after the 6 months, then they will try to find a new tenant BUT still charge us a 10% for the reminder of the 12-month contract from the day we move out (some sort of "vacation charge" ??)

So 2 questions really:

1) Can someone tell me whether this is now the "new reality" when renting or is it just the agency playing hard?

2) Can someone provide me with a clear break clause that I can suggest to them?
(have this one but want to see if there is something better)

"If at any time the landlord/tenant wishes to terminate the tenancy for whatever reason the landlord/tenant shall give the other party not less than two calendar month previous notice in writing of such his desire (such notice to expire no earlier than six months after the commencement of the term) then immediately on the expiration of such notice the tenancy and everything herein contained shall cease and be void without prejudice to the rights and remedies of either party against the other in respect of any antecedent claim or breach of obligation."

Thank you in advance.

dominic
15-09-2009, 12:05 PM
This sounds like it could be rubbish coming from the agency.

The agency should really be taking instructions from their LL client on your request for a six month contract or 12m with a break clause, and should not be making the LL's mind up for him/her on this issue. The resulting tenancy will be between you and the LL.

Ask the agency if they have contacted the LL to ask if 6/12m w/ break would be acceptable to him and see what their response is.

Avoid "an understanding", if they cannot commit to a break clause in the tenancy agreement then don't expect any understanding to be honoured.

ddimitris21
15-09-2009, 13:20 PM
This sounds like it could be rubbish coming from the agency.

The agency should really be taking instructions from their LL client on your request for a six month contract or 12m with a break clause, and should not be making the LL's mind up for him/her on this issue. The resulting tenancy will be between you and the LL.

Ask the agency if they have contacted the LL to ask if 6/12m w/ break would be acceptable to him and see what their response is.

Avoid "an understanding", if they cannot commit to a break clause in the tenancy agreement then don't expect any understanding to be honoured.
Thanks dominic. I have now written to them and wait their reply. Most definitely we will not be expecting any "understanding" from them as you rightly pointed out.

westminster
15-09-2009, 13:30 PM
My partner and I are thinking to rent a flat that we found through an agency (well known agency in the London area).........

So 2 questions really:

1) Can someone tell me whether this is now the "new reality" when renting or is it just the agency playing hard?

I am a LL who rents through a well-known agency in London (in WC2). I always have a six month break clause and the agent did not mention doing otherwise when we last discussed the market in June.

The Property Ombudsman's Code of Practice for letting agents says:

6b You must inform your client, (ideally confirmed in writing) as soon as is reasonably practicable about formal offers received on a property up to the point where tenancy agreements are signed unless the client has instructed otherwise, or, unless the offer is of an amount or type that the client has indicated previously is unacceptable. Details of all formal offers made on a property (including the name of the applicant, the amount, the date and the response given) should be recorded.

...so, assuming this agent is signed up to TPO code of practice, just make an offer for a property saying it is conditional on there being a six month break clause. Then, if the LL hasn't previously indicated to the agent that such offers are not acceptable, the agent will have to pass on the offer. It's then up to the LL whether to accept or not.

ohdearme
15-09-2009, 13:52 PM
It should be your landlord who decides. Perhaps the agent is managing and perhaps the landlord lives abroad and they simply want a year's commission and will not tell the landlord. Perhaps the landlord has told them in advance not to do a let under one year in which case the agent is properly behaving.

The nitty gritty is that it is a matter of negotiation, just like the rent or asking for some more furniture.

Best

Alan