How Tenants Can Avoid Paying A Tenancy Renewal Fee

Update: AWESOME NEWS!

On the 1st of June 2019 the “Tenant Fees Act 2019” came into force, which is a legislation that focuses on banning and restricting letting agents and private landlords from charging tenants in England with certain fees, which includes ‘tenancy renewal fees’ (and various other charges).

If on or after the 1st of June 2019 any tenant in England is charged with a tenancy renewal fee it will be deemed unlawful and punishable by hefty fines. For more details, please refer to the ‘Tenant Fees Act 2019’ blog post.

Unfortunately, if you’re a tenant outside if England, you may still be subject to tenancy renewal fees!

Quick reminder of why I believe Tenancy Renewal Fees are unfair

Yes, I’m a broken record, I’ve already said this crap so many times, but I’ll happily say it again!

Letting agents already make a pile of money from finding tenants and managing properties! They’re not providing any additional services when the same landlord retains the same tenant after the fixed term has expired.

However, in many cases, letting agents charge both landlord and tenant for renewing the tenancy agreement. Why? I don’t agree with the fee, but if they’re going to charge renewal fees, why charge both landlord and tenant?
Let’s not forget, the labour behind a tenancy renewal…

Tenancy Renewal Fee

How tenants can avoid ‘Tenancy Renewal Fees’

As said, if you’re a tenant in England, you don’t need to worry, because as of the 1st of June 2019, it is illegal for landlords and letting agents to charge tenants with renewal fees. For everyone else…

So, this is a real case scenerio that recently happened.

My friend’s Tenancy Agreement is approaching the end of the fixed term, but fortunately both he and the landlord are happy for the tenancy to continue as is.

The landlord uses a letting agent to manage the property, so for the tenancy to continue, the agent wanted a new tenancy agreement drafted and signed, in exchange for a hefty fee (i.e. the tenancy renewal fee). Many agents charge both landlord and tenant in excesss of £120 each for that privilege. What a joke.

Anyways, my friend received this letter from the landlord’s agent…

Tenancy Renewal Fee Letter

He asked me if there was anyway he could avoid this fee because he, rightly so, thought it was unjustified. I told him to send them the following email, and see what happens (I was probably more curious than he was):

To [insert agent’s name],

I’m writing to you in regards to the renewal of the tenancy for the property [insert property address].

Fortunately, I don’t need any of the terms and conditions in the existing tenancy agreement to change, so I’m happy for the tenancy to become periodic, therefore avoiding any additional admin work.

I’m happy to discuss this directly with the landlord if there are any problems with this arrangement.

Kind regards

As the email clarifies, if the tenancy becomes periodic, there’s no extra work required, consequently the agency can’t enforce an admin fees (which is typically how they justify the renewal fee). It was also important to specify that my friend is happy to discuss the situation with the landlord.

The agents responded with something like this:

Hey [insert tenant name],

We’ve discussed this with the Landlord and he is happy for the tenancy become periodic.

Kind regards,
Agent.

Fair play to the agents, they were rather accomodating, something I’m not sure all agents would have been. However, I can’t see how any agent could charge a renewal fee if zero work is required for the tenancy to continue.

Yeah, so that’s how it all went down.

A quick reminder of what a periodic tenancy is…

At the end of the fixed term the tenancy agreement is not terminated or renewed, it automatically becomes what is known as a Statutory Periodic Tenancy. All the terms and conditions of the original tenancy agreement still apply, but the tenancy continues on a month-by-month rolling contract (assuming the rent is paid on a monthly basis, which it almost always is).

But, remember…

Some landlords won’t be happy with the idea of a tenancy becoming periodic, which is completely understandable. Many landlords would prefer securing long-term agreements (although I’m not one of them, because I believe short-term tenancies rule!), so this solution may not always be supported and approved by the landlord.

Tenants may also want a more long-term arrangement secured on paper, so they can’t be unexpectedly asked to vacate the property. But the advantages of a periodic tenancy is that it offers more flexibility to both landlord and tenant. And if both tenant and landlord are both happy with the agreement, there’s no reason why a periodic agreement couldn’t last for years. The odds are that if the landlord and tenant want the tenancy agreement to continue, they’re both happy with one another anyways.

Not all agents charge renewal fees

There are agents oput there that don’t charge tenancy renewal fees, and that’s a clear sign of a good letting agent, in my opinion.

Some agents are even willing to drop the renewal fee in order to get your custom, but you’ll probably need to haggle. But remember, if you manage to swing the deal, make sure you get it confirmed in writing – that they have agreed to waive renewal fees.

If your letting agent does charge a tenancy renewal fee, they MUST…

When using a letting agent, you’re usually required to sign a contract with them. In the contract, there should be a clause which refers to the details of the renewal fees if it’s a fee they charge.

If the tenancy renewal fee is NOT in the contract, or clearly stated in the contract, then it’s unlikely they will be able to legally enforce the fee if you challenge it.

In 2009, the high profile estate agency Foxtons were been told by the High Court that some of the charges they impose on landlords are unfair, because the fees were tucked away in the small-print, and therefore they were classed as a “trap”

The court ruling sent out a clear message, saying that fees should not be hidden away in the small-print, and they should be written in “plain and intelligible” language.

117 Comments- Join The Conversation...

Showing 67 - 117 comments (out of 117)
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 8th August, 2016 @ 12:14

@Kirsty
In theory, they could just increase the rent with a Section 13 notice- that's not a new tenancy, just a rent increase note.

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Rach 9th August, 2016 @ 12:05

Hi Kirusty, in my experience, both landlords and tenants get charged the same when there are amendments made to rental contracts. So renewal of tenancies, increase in rent, etc. All these require a change in the contract terms, even if it is as simple as just opening up the Microsoft Word document on the agent's computer, deleting and typing in a few letters and numbers in the existing contract Word file, and then clicking "print" and collecting the printout of the new amended contract. This the agent charges £60 fees for, and they will charge both their clients (landlord and tenant) for.

I don't like it but when an agent is involved, both landlord and tenant have to play by their terms. After all, when the landlord decided to use an agent to manage their affairs, they signed a contract with the agent agreeing to play by the agent's terms in exchange for the agent to manage their homes for them. When we tenants decide to utilise agents to get a home to rent, we also signed a contract with the agent at the time agreeing to play by the agent's terms if we accept a property the agent sourced for us.

Read your contract terms with the agent and landlord very carefully to see if they have inserted any clause in the contract stipulating that you will agree to pay these fees in exchange for acceptance of the tenancy. Chances are the agent has already slipped in a clause like that but you might be lucky ... you might spot something in contractual terms that might help your case in refusing to pay that fee.

Failing that, another way to get out of this situation is for your landlord to ditch the agent and DIY this process themselves.

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Rach 9th August, 2016 @ 12:07

*apologies for typos in my previous post... using a new phone and I need to figure out how to disable the autocorrect!

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ray comer 9th August, 2016 @ 14:54

Rach - I'm not sure where you have rented before Rach but certainly in the UK it would be very unusual/unlikely that a tenant would have any sort of contract with the agent. The agent has(or should have)a management service contract with the landlord as it is the landlord they are working for; to have one with the tenant would be a direct conflict of interest as they cannot advice the landlord and tenant best interests at the same time.I think you may be confusing a tenancy agreement, which contains the terms and conditions of the tenancy, with a service contract which would contain the duties the agent is carrying out on your behalf?

Kirsty - there are three ways to increase the rent; 1) contractually - where an rent increase, perhaps annually, has been agreed at the start of the tenancy 2) as The Landlord correctly says by serving a S13 notice; with this the tenant must either challenge it within the 14 days or they are deemed to have accepted it, or 3) by mutual agreement.

You have opted for 3

None of them require a new tenancy agreement, only 2 & 3 require some sort of acceptance from the tenant so yes, you could tell them and the landlord that you agree to the increase but want to stay on a periodic tenancy rather than paying for another fixed term which you don't need or want.

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Rach 9th August, 2016 @ 15:36

Ray I think I might have used the wrong wording earlier. I was referring to the tenancy agreement, yes. I stand by the sentiment I was trying to express. When the landlord uses an agent to manage the property then the agent is in fact acting more or less in the capacity of the landlord, on behalf of the landlord. The tenancy agreement may be between the tenant and the landlord in name, but the agent is the go between and often, agents are the only point of contact for a tenant wishing to discuss matters with the landlord. I have even had agents try to block contact between me and the landlord when I was dissatisfied with the agent's conduct and wished to let the landlord know. There would likely be a clause in the tenancy agreement, which the agent drew up for the landlord, and it would probably say something along the lines of "tenant agrees to pay all necessary fees... Fees will be recouped in the event of non payment through the deposit or some such... ...etc" ... It doesn't matter how crooked the whole thing is set up to benefit the agent in all of this, but they can and do wield some power over the tenant, as long as the landlord continues to use them and goes along with what they propose.

Kirsty, you may wish to proceed to dispute the fees, but it might be a case of the landlord being bound by contract to the agent and even if the landlord disagrees with the fees, they cannot not go along with it because they would have signed the contract agreeing to how the agent chooses to manage things and fees etc. They might also actually prefer to go with whatever the agent says... Its hard to tell from here, what your landlord really wants or thinks about this. So at the end of the day, you would just feel pushed to pay it for the threat of losing the property you rent looms... It's not right. I hope these agent fees are outlawed, but until they do, there might be little to do against them other than to pay up. The only way to avoid all this is if the landlord ditches this agent really... And either find another who doesn't behave this way, or deal with you directly rather than go through an agent...

If you have a good relationship with the landlord and can have a chat with the landlord directly about this issue, you will get a clearer idea as to what options are really viable for you. Then you can go from there with more certainty as to how to deal with the agent in this matter.

I hope it all gets resolved in the end for you. Good luck 👍

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Kirsty 11th August, 2016 @ 07:50

We explained to the estate agents that we can't afford fees as well as a rent increase and that we thought it was unfair that we should pay when the landlord was the one who requested a change. They said the landlord has his own fees to pay for. They also said that their fees are clearly listed online which is why they didn't tell us on the phone when the rent increase was discussed. They asked us to send an email so we did. They replied that they wouldn't waiver the fees but suggested we pay £20 monthly for 3 months instead of a lump sum. How kind of them. They said that they don't charge fees for things like mid term inspection, contracts at the beginning of tenancy and check in/check out fees so basically we should count ourselves lucky.
Thankyou for advice though

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Luke 14th October, 2016 @ 03:10

I had a phone call off my agent who asked if I'd like to extend my contract as it's coming up for initial renewal, I said yes and they said it's £75 for 6 months or £120 for 12 months, I couldn't believe it, we weren't made aware of any fees like this until now and we haven't signed anything regarding renewal fees, what should we do?

Can I request landlords contact information as we only have a name and an address which is the agents address

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Ray 14th October, 2016 @ 07:31

When did your tenancy start? Since May 2015 agents must have advertised all of their fees. If you have never been advised of the fees by them, either in paperwork or via their adverts, website etc then you could probably argue your way out of having to pay this time.

You can ask for the landlords name and address, the agent is obligated by law to provide it within 21 days but they do not have to give you any other contact details, phone or email etc.

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Imt 2nd December, 2016 @ 19:11

Hi, I'm in a sticky situation.

Me and my partner moved in to a place in Nov 2016, and now a month later the agent wants us to pay renewal fees for a renewal of contract for next year Nov 2017. They, without our permission, booked a viewing in our home for another person. They did this viewing without informing us that viewings will be taking place and that the house will be going back on the market for rent for next year Nov 2017.

They said that they are obliged to ensure "the house is occupied all the time for the landlord". The landlord had no idea about this either and is happy for me and my partner to decide by the end of January 2016 - personally I still believe this is way too early to decide on renewing a fixed term 12 month contract but I know I'll be staying here for another year anyway. I mean surely these things are decided upon 3-6 months before the end of the contract? I'm even happy for this to go on a Shorthold tenancy.

They now insist that we pay £200 (each I believe - full admin fee!) for the renewal of contract for next year so they can take the house of the market again.... What pisses me off the most though is that even if I renew, it will not stop them from bringing strangers in to my home next November or December! They did not even ask us first if we want to stay on for next year, without our knowledge they booked a viewing and they just sent an email telling us on what day and time the viewing will take place.

I must note that in the contract there is no mention of fees from the agent, no mention of viewings and when they will be taking place. No mention of the "landlord's agent" doing anything. No mention of this at all - even rent can't be increased till the fixed term ends! I've read through the contract multiple times and there is nothing mentioning when renewals will be taking place - no strangely worded language or fine prints! When I asked the agent of renewal fees, they said there was no such thing with them (this was only done verbally - their website has nothing either). It never struck my mind that would put the house back on market once I moved in though ( which I find to be a dirty move) and schedule viewings without my consent. There is no language in the contract that allows the "agent" to supersede my decisions.

They said they have the "right to do viewings" however in the contract it only mentions the "Landlord and the Landlords contractors" to enter the home with 24 hours notice for repair work at reasonable time of day or for emergencies. The agency is only defined in the contract as the Landlords Agent not contractors. Does this not mean that I have the right to lock my door and not let them in?

Also I even have a print out of their website where again there is no mention of renewal fees for tenants, only the landlord has renewal fees! I don't know what to do, this stuff has popped out of no where and I find it scummy that they put the house back on market when I basically just moved in - I haven't even received my first bills for anything yet either!

I'm sorry for the wall of text, when I was looking to rent I thought all this housing nonsense was over - but to have it pop up again so close to the end of the year has me stressed once more. Thank you for taking the time to read through this.

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K conran 4th January, 2017 @ 12:54

My daughter is at Uni and rents her house with 3 friends. They wish to renew for a further year. However one of the tenants is not renewing and so they have found a friend to take her place. (So 4 tenants to continue with tenancy but one name change). The agents have written to my daughter and her friends to say that they must move out for 2 weeks, have the place inspected, deposit paid back and then pay a new deposit and new fees to return and take back on the tenancy. Their justification is the one new tenant! This seems very irregular to me and also unnecessary. It would make the girls homeless with all their belongings (it's an unfurnished house) for 2 weeks. Your advice on how to proceed would be great, thanks.

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Anna 4th January, 2017 @ 19:16

Hello,

I am currently renting a flat with a housemate since March 2015. We had a 6 months contract initially, which we had to pay the 6 months upfront (as I recently started a new job and would have failed my referencing as it was a new job .. which I am still in currently 1 year later). In September 2016, we were asked to pay £114 for a renewal of contract fee + a rent increase and 6 months upfront AGAIN (unless we pay another £300 for a new referencing check). We were ok with the rent increase, but not with the renewal of contract fee and upfront payment. I fought, wrote a letter to our landlord (as they did not want their phone number given) explaining that I wasn't against the increase in rent, but the renewal fee. They replied that they were in the middle of moving house themselves so did not have time to deal with tenancy issues, and that is why they where liaising with our estate agent to help keep us in the tenancy. Long story short, my housemate could not deal with the stress, and paid the renewal of contract fee. We borrowed and paid 6 months upfront again. Safe to say I have been mega broke ever since.
Today I receive an email about confirming if we want to stay or leave at the end of the 6 month contract on 20/03/17 - if we stay, another £114 renewal of contract fee, and have to pay 6 months upfront again (or pay £300 referencing fee to have the luxury to pay monthly like normal people). I cannot go through this again.
I am thinking of ignoring this email as I want to go onto a rolling contract. I am also thinking of writing to my landlords that it is nothing against them or the property, but to explain that we wish to go on rolling contract as we cannot afford 6 months upfront, that we refuse to pay renewal of contract fee again (and every 6 months if we continue like this), and that by law we are allowed to roll from AST to rolling contract.
Am I right!? Or will they just serve me with a section 21 if I do that
What can I do against the estate agency? I am under the impression that complaining will only make them work towards getting us evicted (even if we are right in complaining as they have bullied us, lied to us and told us various reasons as to why we needed to pay upfront, not completed repairs....)

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Ray Comer 5th January, 2017 @ 19:47

Very simple answer to this one. The agent MUST advertise his fees on his website, in his office/s and in any online advertising. If he did then you must accept the charges; if he didn't then you don't have to pay them. The law doesn't allow you to automatically have a rolling contract UNLESS the landlord or his agent don't do anything to renew it. Unfortunately they have so that option isn't available. HOWEVER, if you don't pay the 6 months up front but offer them say, 2 months in advance every 2 months they would be mad not to accept it.

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Anna 6th January, 2017 @ 15:23

Thank you for your reply. I am trying to get the landlord's address (as apparently they don't want to give their phone number). I know that by law they have 2 weeks to provide me with their postal address. I want to write to the landlord to ask if they would be ok about going onto a rolling contract (if no changes are to be done in the contract, which there are not). The agency are telling me they cannot give me the information, they will instead ask the landlord to contact us. They hung the phone quite abruptly as well.

The agency is also saying that we need to pay another referencing fee (£150 each) for us to be able to pay monthly, which again, I am no ready to dish out that kind of money. So I don't think they will reason and try and find a solution to this 6 months upfront payment ... Does this mean I am trap?

Thank you for your time,

Anna

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Ray Comer 6th January, 2017 @ 20:17

Unfortunately there are too many agents like this although they are still in the minority regardless of what the media think. There is no justification in charging you £150 each to be referenced, you've paid 12 months rent already without any issues; the landlords options to get you out if you don't pay are no different now than they were when you finished your first 6 months.

Were these charges in the agents terms and conditions? have you checked their website to see if these fees are mentioned? was it in the advert? (you can usually find old zoopla or rightmove adverts with a google search for the road name or area) if not, take a screenshot and then tell them you won't pay the fee but want to stay. Make sure you pay the rent each month on or just before the day it is due. They can't evict you, only the landlord can do that and if he sees the rent coming in and you're looking after the property he probably won't want to.

They must provide you with the landlords full name and address, in writing, within 21 days of you giving them a written request. If they don't its a criminal offence and they could be fined. Once you have the address write to the landlord, explain that you have already paid the rent in full for the last 12 months, have looked after the house well (as long as you have of course) and would really like to stay but the agents i=s making it impossible. Explain that its difficult for you to find another 6 months rent in advance and ask if the landlord would consider letting you pay monthly or every two months.

You may have to accept that it might be the landlord who wants the 6 months in advance?

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Anonymous 20th January, 2017 @ 19:12

Only read the first paragraph, but sorry I'm totally confused, why should it be free?

It isn't free to have your car washed?

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Simon Pambin 21st January, 2017 @ 10:59

Why not read the whole article, and see if you understand it then? The gist of it is you don't have to pay a renewal fee if you don't renew the agreement. Your tenancy automatically becomes a statutory periodic tenancy, which works fine for many people, tenants and landlords alike.

Or, to use your analogy, it is free to have your car washed, if you just wait for the rain to do it!

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 21st January, 2017 @ 13:36

@Anonymous
Your analogy isn't comparative.

Would you pay for the same car twice?

@Simon
"Why not read the whole article, and see if you understand it then?"

Don't confuse the situation with common sense :)

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Mark Blackwell 3rd February, 2017 @ 22:20

I require advice. I've just received an email from the Letting Agent advising me the landlord wants to increase the rent from £795 to £810. The Agent advises they will be charging me £125 to renew for a further 12 months (which is in their paperwork, but not that prominently displayed). I feel the rent increase is fair, but still object to the £125 in essence for some basic admin and photocopying - although I paid it last year. If the landlord has to agree to evict me do the experts think it likely they will support the Letting Agency is I refuse to pay £125, and instead offer to pay £50 as a 'reasonable' sum? Or am I bound by the paperwork to pay the £125 each year, come what may? Many thanks for any advice.

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deborah ferrier 5th April, 2017 @ 07:29

Hi - We rented a property in Dec 2016 - we signed contract for 6 mths - due to un-forseen circumstances my and ad his wife had to go back to Scotland in January - I struggle keep up the rent but have managed to pay - I moved out and stay with my sister as the house was far too big and other payments i could not afford - We decorated ( with permission) when we moved in - we put lots of added things and also cleaned it to our standard which is very high - Dawsons phoned me to say they had got a new tennent and if we could move furniture etc out by 18th March - I packed all my sons things up as everything was his at the house - My son got a flight down on 17th March we hired a luting van to take all the belongings back o Scotland - We packed up on 18th and traveled from Swansea to Scotland , there we put all into storage as my son can't get back into his property until May 2017 - I got a call on the following Wednesday to say that the new tennents have pulled out and that I am still liable for full rent until and including May 2017 - I am distraught - I explained that we done what they asked us to do vacate by 18th March and that we now have extra costs with storage etc - wha can I do Thanks They also charged us for re advertising which was basically on for 1 day £275 plus vat

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Dolores 12th April, 2017 @ 07:33

My lease ends the first of July, I've benn in my flat for 6 years, I have just had a letter from the Agents, if I want yo stay I must pay for a renewal lease again now 3 months before my lease ends, 3 months ahead ? Can they do this ? My land lord wants to go independent, the Agent say they can, but then they can't let the flat the flat to me, can they do this ?

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Ray Comer 12th April, 2017 @ 10:22

Mark Blackwell - if you didn't want to pay £125 for the renewal then you shouldn't have signed the agreement!!! or you should have argued it at the time. I doubt a landlord would want to evict you if you've been a good tenant but the £125 could be succesfully claimed from your deposit at the end of the tenancy if it is stated in the tenancy agreement. Reneging on a tenancy agreement is no different to reneging on any other contract.

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Ray Comer 12th April, 2017 @ 10:32

Deborah Ferrier - this does seem cruel but what were the terms of the early surrender of the tenancy? did they put it in writing and did you confirm in writing? While legally you are still responsible for the rent as the new tenant didn't occupy, you will have a valid claim against Dawsons if they didn't make it clear to you that you would remain liable until a new tenant took up occupation.

Ask for a copy of their complaints process; find out which redress scheme they belong to. Follow their process to put your complaint to them; see the process through and if not happy take it to the redress scheme.

You won't be able to claim the rent you are having to pay as that is contractual, you may have to pay the advertising costs if thats what they advised you when you said you could leave early, but you may have a claim for the storage costs etc if you can prove that was only incurred due to vacating early. It costs you nothing to try.

The lesson here is ALWAYS get everything in writing an check that it covers everything you need it to. Hopefully you did.

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Ray Comer 12th April, 2017 @ 10:36

Dolores - if the agreement says that you must pay a fee then you must pay a fee; if it says three months in advance then you should pay it 3 months in advance. If it doesn't then you can pay it when it suits you.

The landlord's relationship with the agent should not effect your tenancy; you are the landlord's tenant not the agents. If he chooses to go self managed than that is between him and the agent. They may have an agreement where he has to pay them something but they can't evict you, only the landlord could do that. Speak to your landlord, tell him you'd like to stay.

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Simon Pambin 12th April, 2017 @ 11:05

I think in Dolores' case the agent is trying it on because they're about to lose their client: the old "you can't keep the tenant we found you" routine isn't really going to hold up after six years, so they're trying to cover the other end by getting the tenant signed up to a new agreement prematurely. Where's the requirement to pay a fee? In the new agreement, which hasn't been agreed yet, so no fee is due. As Ray says, talk to the organ-grinder, not the monkey!

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Ray Comer 12th April, 2017 @ 15:45

The reference to paying a fee would need to be in the old agreement or the agents terms of business Simon, not the new agreement as that wouldn't take effect until the start date

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Simon Pambin 12th April, 2017 @ 16:06

Exactly: as it stands, there's no way that such a charge could be enforceable on a tenant who doesn't wish to renew. If it's in the old agreement, it's not applicable (as it relates to an event outside the agreement). If it's in the terms of business, it's not relevant.

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Mark Blackwell 12th April, 2017 @ 18:28

Ray Comer - comment 87. Thanks for the advice, and I will accept it at face value. I have no intention of reneging on a signed contract. My concern is that these Agency fees are not 'openly' displayed in the paperwork, and nor is it explicitly explained that this is a recurring agency charge, instead of a one-off fee. Even more interesting was the fact when I contacted my landlord they were unaware the Letting Agency was levying this fee on their tenant. I note the government have expressed concerns over letting fees, and I understand are reviewing this issue. I have no objection to paying for a service honestly conducted and reasonably costed. However I am not convinced a £125 annual fee to renew a simple rental contract falls within this description. And of course you will be aware any obviously unfair charge will be hard to enforce in any court of law, if challenged. But I think your advice makes sense, and was helpful, so my thanks.

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Maria 12th September, 2018 @ 21:33

I am a tenant
The agency wants £300 for the contract renewal..
it is on contract
What I doo???? It ridiculous
Tks

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Ray Comer 16th September, 2018 @ 07:31

Maria. If the fee is in the contract then you should pay it or ask if the landlord would go onto a periodic basis in which there should be no fee at all. Read this whole thread to see how to do that.
I have to ask, if it was in the contract, and you think it is ridiculous, why on earth did you sign the contract?

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Maria 16th September, 2018 @ 19:23

Gooosh
Thanks Ray
Good question
Really stupid I was, I tought was a normal price
The landlady is old and not really open minded
My other neighbours use to pay 150 to renew, this year the agency raised for 300
I have the impression that we are also paying the landlady fee
Well
Thanks for you reply
Regards

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Maggie 18th November, 2018 @ 09:40

Hi Ray,
Quick question. Do I still have to pay a renewal agency fee of £90 when the agency is not looking after the property?
Many thanks.
M

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Ray Comer 18th November, 2018 @ 18:53

@Maggie No

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Maggie 18th November, 2018 @ 19:14

Hi Ray,
Thank you for getting back to me and letting me know.
Perhaps, I will have to take the matter with the agency. The renewal fee of the contract is on the agency "Tenants Terms & Conditions"
And my contract is Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement.
Many thanks,
Maggie

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Teddy 22nd November, 2018 @ 21:19

The terms of tenancy agreement says "twelve calendar months subject however to any special Tenancy conditions" but 3 months to the end of my contract the agents have sent me a letter to let them know if I am happy to continue. They said the landLord is happy for me to continue but my rent is increased by £25 and that I have to pay a renewal fee of £145. The landlord does not live here, it seems he has handed over the property to the agents. How do I avoid paying this renewal fee of £145? I am also happy to stay here even in the next 3 year

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Lucy 28th December, 2018 @ 10:39

Hello, well, we signed contract to pay 240 for renewal, it's first time we went through agency (Alex Neil-having worst experience, please people if you can, don't go through with them) we about to renew, can we challenge them not to put that renewal fee in contract? Not sure what to do, can't just move out at the moment...

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Kristof 7th January, 2019 @ 19:49

Hello Ray and all,

My flatmates and I have renewed the tenancy in September last year, for one more year. Last November, the landlady has decided, to change the agency, because she was not satisfied with the previous one. Now we have got the new Tenancy Agreement and the Agency wants us to pay 120 GBP per person administration fee.

Should we pay it, or should we renegotiate it as to be paid by the landlord (essentially she wanted to change Agency).

Thanks for the advice!

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ray comer 17th January, 2019 @ 21:29

Your existing tenancy agreement isn’t affected by the landlord changing agents, so there is no reason at all why a new one needs to be arranged, the existing one is valid until September. If they have admin costs from taking over the tenancy then that is for the landlord to pay not you. Ask them on what legal basis do they believe the existing tenancy needs to be changed

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Samuel 24th January, 2019 @ 19:34

Re: Tenancy 'renewal fee'

Hi guys,

You will likely all know this issue well, but I thought I'd share my experience with you all. We recently extended our tenancy agreement for another year and just as we received the email to sign the contract we get hit with another saying we're required to pay a 'renewal fee' of 120 GBP...

This was the first we'd heard of it so were obviously miffed by it and don't recall paying this in the past so naturally assumed the agents - Dexters - were trying a fast one... We ignored the email a few weeks and replied with the following to their second request for the fee to be paid. A reply like this might be useful for some of you too....

"Dear Mr xxxxx,

I am away travelling with work at the moment so don't have the contract at hand. Are you able to send us the clause/paragraph in the contract that highlights the requirement for the tenant (and not the landlord) to pay this fee? If so that'd be appreciated.

Regards
XXXXX"

To which they quickly replied;

"Thank you for your email and for bringing this to my attention. I have had a look at your contract and cannot find the clause referring to this fee. It looks like the fee has been raised to your account in error. I will have it removed from your account. Please disregard the invoice previously sent"

So yeah.... If they were 'trying it on' to abuse their position with the tenants then that's what they would say...

Hope this helps someone else get out of their unjust fee between now and when the GOVT changes the law pertaining to these fees.

Regards,
Sam

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Miss Blue 21st May, 2019 @ 18:38

I am currently going through issues with the same. My current AST ends on the 28/6 so the lettings agency reached out a couple of weeks ago and asked if I wanted to "renew and if so for how long" and I responded I'm looking to go periodic. They INSISTED the landlord would not agree to this, (sure it could be true but then again...) and when I said I'd only sign up for a new fixed term if the landlord covered the fee they said no can do and then had to nerve to say that means I'm not interested in 'renewing' my contract so they will put my room up for let, start having viewings and the checkout will be "middday 26/6". I got that email yesterday (20/5). So I had to reply to 'remind' them that if the landlord is insisting on terminating my tenancy he has to serve a valid notice under section 21 with a minimum of 2 months notice to vacate.

They didn't reply. Surprise surprise. This is an agency who prides themselves of "being professionals with more than 25 years combined experience".

The best part is that I live in a HMO that requires an additional license in the borough of London that I live in. I've already called the council and confirmed that there is no licence or licence application for this property. So if they do serve the section 21 notice it won't even be valid.

Had I not dived into tenancy law recently, and I learned a lot from sites like this (and shelter and also gov.uk), I would not have known my rights and it's scary and horrible how agencies can try and take advantage of people like this.

Oh and for the curious, this particular agency charges £125 for a renewal fee. If I'm allowed to name and shame: Stay far away from Quest London.

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Jack 5th November, 2019 @ 12:15

As a landlord, my agent want to charge me more than a month of rent as renewal fee even both my tenants and myself want to move on to periodic/rolling contract. I am risking to ask my tenants to serve notice and sign them back up under my private tenants. Anything I need to be aware and avoid retaliation action from the agent?

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Tracey 11th December, 2019 @ 13:54

Hi, my contract was up in July and the agent only got in touch with me in October to renew. They have given me a renewal to sign that is backdated to July and are charging me £99 for the renewal. On questioning this, they told I have 2 options, accept the backdated contract and pay the £99 or go periodically and risk the rent being put up.

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Penny 15th January, 2020 @ 17:46

Hi
I’ve just received a letter that is identical to the one your friend received informing me that I need to renew my contact before end of April at the cost of £50. Having done this several times already and increased the rent each time. I’m frustrated as I’ve not had notification that the agent is even still checking the property quarterly like they said they would. I pay my rent on time every month and keep the property in a clean and well looked after condition. Do you think it’s worth me sending an email to the agent the same as you asked your friend?

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The Landlord 15th January, 2020 @ 20:56

@Penny
Are you a tenant in England? If so, agents aren't allowed to charge tenants a renewal fee anymore, as per the tenant fee act (mentioned at the top of the blog post).

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Penny 16th January, 2020 @ 08:35

Hi
Re comment 109. Yes I live in England. How do I challenge the fee? Do I ask them for a periodic contract or just quote the change in law to say they can’t charge it me?
I really appreciate assistance, see below what is in my letter:

‘Could you please contact us to arrange a suitable time for you to attend our office and sign the new contracts. Alternatively, if it is more convenient then we can dispatch contracts to your home address for you to sign and return. If you sign the new contract this guarantees your rent at this level for a further six months or twelve months (dependent on the length of the contract you to sign) and allows you to remain in the property for this period, subject to you keeping to the terms of your contract. In accordance with the terms of business which you signed when you moved into the property the renewal agreement carries a fee of £50 which becomes payable on signing the new agreement. Once confirmation has been received, we will send out the required documentation.’

Is this different to what you are saying as they call it a ‘renewal agreement’?

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The Landlord 16th January, 2020 @ 19:21

@Penny
That sounds like they're trying to enforce a tenancy renewal fee.

No need to go down the periodic tenancy route, because they're not allowed to charge you a fee either way. You should be able to sign a new tenancy for another year without incurring any fees.

I would quote the change in law. I'd be interested to hear their response, so please let me know!

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Tenancy Fee Act 16th January, 2020 @ 19:28

@Penny @The Landlord

If you signed the original contract (and it had the fee detailed in it) prior to June 2019 they can still charge the fee until June 2020, after which they can no longer charge the renewal fee regardless of when your tenancy started.

Judging from the fact that you say this has happened several times already, I am going to assume your tenancy did start before June 2019 and as such it is still legal and they can still ask you to pay it.

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The Landlord 16th January, 2020 @ 19:34

@Tenancy Fee Act @Penny
Ahh yeah, thanks for pointing that out. Slipped my mind.

@Penny, in that case, if you're reluctant to pay the £50, you can suggest a periodic tenancy. If you've been a good tenant, the landlord will have little reason to reject your suggestion.

But yes, from next year, they won't be able to charge the fee at all.

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Penny 16th January, 2020 @ 20:57

@the landlord and @tenanct fee act

Many thanks for getting back to me and letting me know my legal standing.
I will probably request if I can move to a periodic tenancy as I have been a good tenant and if they want me out and the expense of replacing me and not knowing if they will have a good tenant or not then I will give them that choice.

Again many thanks

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Stressed renter 17th June, 2020 @ 21:32

Looking for some advice and help!
I rent my house via an estate agent it’s a managed property, I previously had a fixed term 12month contract but In February I contacted them to say I didn’t want to renew I wanted to go into a rolling contract, EA said it’s shouldn’t be a problem and would let the landlord know, didn’t hear anything back, main reason I didn’t want to renew is EA fees are extortionate £108 and they don’t even redo the Actual contact just an e-sign 1 paragraphed page saying contact extended till X date, so the renewal date came and went and I heard nothing, assumed all was ok as I didn’t hear anything at all then today (so 4months later) they’ve rang me and said I have an outstanding debt with them for the renewal to which I said I haven’t renewed the contact they are saying they charge for going on to a periodical contract which I’m pretty sure they can’t do especially 4months after the contract finished! They are claiming they sent me an email to e-sign back in feb which I never received, they never rang or sent via post (blaming COVID) I’ve said I’m not willing to pay it as they are completely out of order contacting me 4months later claiming I have an unpaid debt for a supposed renewal that wasn’t needed and I didn’t even sign so they are passing it to a manager, Who is in the right here?

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The Landlord 18th June, 2020 @ 08:41

@Stressed renter,

No-brainer, they're in the wrong in my opinion. Sounds like they're just trying it on. I personally wouldn't pay.

BTW, is the property you're renting in England?

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Stressed renter 18th June, 2020 @ 11:46

@The Landlord

Yes house is in england, thanks for your reply.

I’ve checked my original contract dated March 2018-March 2019 which was when I moved in, as I say their version of renewal is 1 paragraph on e-sign saying contract renewal for further 12months so proper contract doesn’t actually have updated dates on it anyway, and that contract does say a £90+vat charge for any renewal but the main point is they never contacted me at all about the contract changing it was actually me that rang them and then I just didn’t hear anything back at all till now when they are claiming this outstanding debt, I don’t see how almost 4 months after the fixed contract went into a rolling contract they can suddenly say I have an outstanding debt to pay that I was never contacted about at the time and I haven’t signed anything including the e-sign document they claim to of sent me which they are now saying they’ve changed systems and can’t find.

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