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Advice on renewal obligations with a Letting agent

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Hi all ,
Looking for some advice please

In October 2017, I let my property out to a couple with small children. An estate agent found the tenants for me on a let only and rent collection basis for a fee of 8% of the annual rent. I also signed a 5% renewal fee with them.
At the time of signing I was under the impression that the 8% would be for year 1 and 5% for year 2

The tenants have been paying the rent on time - however, their small kids have been damaging the property. I have given several warning to the tenants with mixed results (and made the estate agents aware that I had done this).

Because I wasn't happy with the tenants the estate agents had found for me and because I felt that the estate agents didn't deserve another 5 % for year 2 (~£78 per month), I wrote to them last year to say that I wanted to collect the rent my self and didn't need their services. I got a response back from them reminding me that I had signed a 5% renewal fee. So I left it as that

I then wrote to them again last week saying that at the end of year 2 (October 2019) I didn't need their services and would collect the rent myself. I also told them that the tenants that they had found me were still causing damage to the property (I have also since then found out that the referencing that the estate agents had done against the tenant having a business of his own was wrong - the tenant was a Pizza delivery driver and possibly subletting the property)

To my surprise the estate agent has come back and said that there wasn't a year 1 or year 2 fee- it was an initial fee and a renewal fee.
Not once at the time of signing the contract did the estate agents clarify that the renewal fee would be ongoing and indefinite. In fact their contract does not state indefinite or continuous renewal.
If it was clear to me that the renewal fee would be continuous whilst the tenant was in occupation, I would have definitely negotiated it down - just like I negotiated the year 1 fees and what I thought were year 2 fees

I feel misled and have written to them saying I wish to raise a formal complaint.
However, just wondering if others have been in a similar situation and how they have got out of it.
Any help or advice appreciated.

Thanks,

07/10/2019 00:04

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