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HP mum
20-03-2010, 23:48 PM
Hello

I have a question here about my liability to pay an estate agent's commission.

3 years ago I rented a property to someone for a few months. The Tenant was brought to me via an estate agent, I paid the agreed commission and the Tenant came and went.
3 years later the Tenant wants to come stay in my property again.
Trouble is that I have been approached via a different estate agent.
I have gone back and read the T&Cs of the original Letting Estate Agent and it says quite clearly that Landlord will be liable to pay their commission if the Tenant re-rents at some point in the future. I have copied and pasted their T&Cs below.

So what do I do?
The Tenant is high profile and it might easily come to the attention of the original Agent that they are re-renting my property. Could they demand commission ? Legally that is. Or after 3 years would their original contract be deemed ended ?
I don't obviously want to end up paying 2 lots of commissions.

Or should I just go back to the 2nd agent and say I can't deal through them?

"Commission and other charges are due and payable by the Client in accordance with paragraph xx hereof on any letting of the Property to a Tenant and references to the Tenant
include:
• any “associate” of the Tenant as defined in Section 303 (3) of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1970.
• any close company as defined in Section 282 of the Act in which that person or any associate as defined is a participator, as defined in Section 303 (1) of the Act.
• any company (or any connected person or entity of that company) which shall be the employer, former employer, guarantor or former or proposed guarantor of that person.
• where the Tenant is a company, any person employed by the company or for whom the company is, or has become, or proposes to become guarantor and includes any company which is a holding company of the company or
subsidiary company of the company or a member of the same group, as defined in Section 272 of the Act, as the company.
• any person or entity introduced by the Tenant or the occupier of the Property within the previous six months.
• any person who shall be introduced to the Client as a Tenant by XX who subsequently rents any Property from the Client, whether or not XX have been instructed to let that Property"

westminster
21-03-2010, 00:37 AM
Most of the agency clauses you quote don't seem to me to be relevant unless the former tenant's rent was paid by a corporate employer and it's a case of a new tenant backed/subsidized by the same company?

And would this be an assured shorthold tenancy with an individual or a common-law tenancy letting to a corporate entity?

Either way, I think three years is a long gap, probably/possibly enough to draw a line between any continuation aspect, plus you haven't been approached via the original agency/original tenant, but via another agency.

HP mum
21-03-2010, 12:11 PM
This is the clause I am worried about:

"any person who shall be introduced to the Client as a Tenant by XX who subsequently rents any Property from the Client, whether or not XX have been instructed to let that Property"

The money was paid by a corporate for an individual.
It is the individual who is returning.
The individual has been communicating with me but I have been advised that the correct protocol is to deal via an agency, rather than directly.
It is a Tenancy Agreement, not a Shorthold Tenancy Agreement, as the rent is above the STA threshold.
The company will be paying again, not the individual.

I am not sure if I should advise the original agent and deal with them, not the new agent.
Or if I should just get a lawyer to draft a clause into my contract with the new agent something along the lines of they are liable for the commission if the original agent tries to claim it...????

HP mum
21-03-2010, 17:30 PM
anyone else any legal suggestions here ?

mind the gap
21-03-2010, 17:43 PM
anyone else any legal suggestions here ?
'Please' is traditional...:)

westminster
21-03-2010, 18:29 PM
The individual has been communicating with me but I have been advised that the correct protocol is to deal via an agency, rather than directly....
I am not sure if I should advise the original agent and deal with them, not the new agent.

You said initially that the new agent had approached you. So how can you be in a position to choose which agent to deal with?

Who has advised you that using an agent is the 'correct protocol' - the company? If so, what right have they to effectively insist that you pay an agency commission? There is nothing the agent does which you (or a solicitor) could not do yourself.


Or if I should just get a lawyer to draft a clause into my contract with the new agent something along the lines of they are liable for the commission if the original agent tries to claim it...????
Can't see the new agent agreeing to this.

HP mum
22-03-2010, 10:46 AM
Thanks.
The issue is not about choice of agent. It is if I will be legally bound to pay a commission to the original agent. If so, then I would rather ask the company to let me deal through the first agent, if they consider it their protocol to deal through an agent, rather than run the risk of having to pay 2sets of commission. That is my query. I would much rather deal direct than have to pay any commission to an agent, but it seems that the company wants to deal through an agent. I am just trying to cover my back. The worst case scenario is that I pay one commission and then the original comes back to me asking for another 23% !!