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View Full Version : Agents going to court for Hidden Terms!!



sharemaster2
13-02-2008, 12:34 PM
Hi all,

I have a problem and it is simple indeed but want to know what other people have to say about this situation.

I got a LA to find me a Tennant. Just used thier FIND only service. They were not managing the property as I had wanted to do that myself.
I signed the normal contract with the agency albeit to me they had slipped in a TERM in the contract saying that weather they renew or did not renew or extend the Tennancy through them the LA, I will still be laible to pay them a months rent. The tennancy was extended twice and I did all that myself and even issued my own TA to the tennat.
Okay people, I should have read the contract in detail which I failed to do so my fault on that side.
New the LA has filled a claim in court claiming that under terms and condition of the agreement, I do owe them this said amount irrepective of the fact that they DID NOTHING in the extension of the tennancy and did not have to pysically issue any new TA.
The fact is that the LA did not extend the TA with the tennant as I did that myself and also practically did nothing but want payment for doing nothing at all because they had slipped in this TERM in the contract beween myself and them the LA.
Surely this has to be classed as an unffair contract term as:
1. they have suffered no loss and:
2. had not offered any consideration of any sort to warrant payment.

What law do I have to stand on and how best do I go about proving my case to my advantage as I clearly want to defend this claim by myself. I am so outraged that they are even trying to take me to court over this.
Please all advice in this matter are all welcomed.:mad:

Colincbayley
13-02-2008, 13:10 PM
Paulf wrote this under the letting agents section.


'I like this post because renewal fees are unsustainable if an agent does nothing at renewal other than send an invoice. Your local Trading Standards office should be informed of this practice (common in Greater London) who should pass this on to the OFT who are trying to stamp out this practice as an unfair and onerous term. I've posted this several times before but it keeps rearing its ugly head'

sharemaster2
13-02-2008, 13:34 PM
Paulf wrote this under the letting agents section.


'I like this post because renewal fees are unsustainable if an agent does nothing at renewal other than send an invoice. Your local Trading Standards office should be informed of this practice (common in Greater London) who should pass this on to the OFT who are trying to stamp out this practice as an unfair and onerous term. I've posted this several times before but it keeps rearing its ugly head'

Hi there,
Thanks for the quick responce but at the present I am facing the option to defend this claim in court and need more substantive legal grounds to defend the claim after which I can write off to Trading Standards and the rest of them. More advice is welocmed by all please.

pcwilkins
13-02-2008, 13:39 PM
Paulf wrote this under the letting agents section.

'I like this post because renewal fees are unsustainable if an agent does nothing at renewal other than send an invoice. Your local Trading Standards office should be informed of this practice (common in Greater London) who should pass this on to the OFT who are trying to stamp out this practice as an unfair and onerous term. I've posted this several times before but it keeps rearing its ugly head'

...but ColinC then wrote this


Unfortunately it seems that trading standards do not agree with you. Apparently they consider this a business to business transaction and therefore outside of what they deem to be their duties to investigate.

Their words were "if you agreed to it in the contract, then you have to honour it".

First, the title:


Agents going to court for Hidden Terms!!

In what way were these terms "hidden"? Seems to me that if they were in the contract they were very much un-hidden.


New the LA has filled a claim in court claiming that under terms and condition of the agreement, I do owe them this said amount irrepective of the fact that they DID NOTHING in the extension of the tennancy and did not have to pysically issue any new TA.".

I have to say that I agree with them. They found you a tenant on the condition that if the tenancy was renewed, you would pay them £X. The fact that "they DID NOTHING in the extension of the tennancy and did not have to pysically issue any new TA" seems irrelevant to me.


The fact is that the LA did not extend the TA with the tennant as I did that myself...

But the TA was extended, right? Didn't the originally term say that the payment was due "weather they renew or did not renew or extend the Tennancy through them"? That seems pretty clear to me.


...and also practically did nothing but want payment for doing nothing at all...

They want payment because that's what you agreed to give them! To my mind, the amount of work that they did isn't relevant --- it's what the contract says.


...because they had slipped in this TERM in the contract beween myself and them the LA.

You keep saying they "slipped in" this term as though it's their fault that you didn't read it! They didn't "slip" the term in, it was written just like all the other terms. If you didn't like it you should have asked them to remove it.


Surely this has to be classed as an unffair contract term as:
1. they have suffered no loss and:
2. had not offered any consideration of any sort to warrant payment.

According to http://www.consumerdirect.gov.uk/before_you_buy/think_of/unfair-contracts#named2, a term is unfair if "contrary to the requirement of good faith it causes a significant imbalance in the parties' rights and obligations under the contract, to the detriment of consumers."

I'm not convinced that this term falls into that. And are you a consumer? I'm not convinced.


What law do I have to stand on

In my opinion, none. You didn't read what you signed --- pay up and put it down to experience.


and how best do I go about proving my case to my advantage

I don't think you have a case to prove!


as I clearly want to defend this claim by myself.

I'm sure you do, but just because you say it's unfair, doesn't mean it is.


I am so outraged that they are even trying to take me to court over this.

Yes, it's disgraceful that they are trying to make you keep your side of the contract.

A good summary of this situation; "I signed a contract without reading it; now I am being asked to honour the contract; I don't want to; please can Big Brother get me out of this mess?"

Sorry, but sometimes you just have to take responsibility for your own mistakes. Signing contracts without reading them is just asking for trouble.

Peter

Markonee1
14-02-2008, 03:20 AM
So has the agent created a permanent 'groundrent'? A positive covenant with only escape to sell up? Nasty:eek:

pcwilkins
14-02-2008, 08:59 AM
So has the agent created a permanent 'groundrent'?

Not really --- they've just said "We'll find you a tenant on the condition that every time you renew the tenancy you pay us £X".


A positive covenant with only escape to sell up?

Not at all --- the condition only applies for the tenant that they found. LL won't have to pay if LL finds another tenant, for example.

One way to get round it would be to end the old tenancy, wait a week, and sign a new one. That way it could be argued that the old tenancy was not "renewed" or "extended" so that the payment is not due. Of course that might still leave LL open to possible legal action.


Nasty:eek:

It doesn't seem that unfair a term to me. It is the LL who is at fault here, for signing his agreement to it when he didn't agree to it!

Peter

Grange
14-02-2008, 09:12 AM
It's scarcely unreasonable. You pay commission to a LA for the time you have a T found by the LA.