Renewal Fee – 12 month agreement, one tenant leaves after six months. Arranged for friend to take her place. Agent now wants to charge a finder’s fee and set-up a new contract-payment roughly equal to one month’s rent. Is this normal and acceptable?
With a joint tenancy, if one of the tenants leaves, the agreement terminates and a new one needs to be set-up with all the new tenants – obviously if the agent is to do this he will want an administration fee, but there should be no finder’s fee involved.
Any fees payable will be governed by the agency agreement, so whatever the landlord has agreed to by signing the agency agreement will stand. All these things are negotiable so it’s important that landlords clarify and agree these matters before signing.
In the case of a joint tenant leaving early, there is a matter of that tenant being released from the contract (tenant contracted for a 12-month term) and allowing a new tenant to take over.
Technically, therefore, there is onus on the leaving tenant to pay for the administration involved. Also, as this is a joint tenancy, where all tenants are jointly and severally liable, the landlord could in theory collect from any one or all of the tenants.
Ideally, the tenancy agreement should anticipate this situation by spelling out exactly what the procedure is when one tenant leaves early.
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