renewal fees

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I used a letting agent to find tenants and set up a tenancy agreement. After a few months i gave the letting agent notice that i didn't want them to manage the property any more. Their services were terminated in August 2010 having given them the required 3 months notice.

The tenancy agreement comes to an end on 13th November but the tenants wish to stay in the property and so i have said that the tenancy can continue on a month by month basis.

The letting agents have been in touch to say that i owe them "renewal" fees. I've told them that i will absolutely not be paying renewal fees, my understanding was that i paid them a commission for finding the tenants, the background checks and setting up the tenancy agreement and that the commission i paid was a % of the tenancy income for that first year's tenancy which they took up front.

I don't believe it is legally enforceable and basically it means that if the tenants stay in my apartment for 10 years they are entitled to to 10 lots of renewal fees. Their terms and conditions state that if the tenancy is extended or renewed even if it was not negotiated by themselves then i am liable to pay these fees. So i was to use a competitor to manage the property for me, I still have to pay the original agent renewal fees! Even though i no longer use their services! I signed the terms of business without really realising this.

Also, the tenants deposit was placed in a TDS. What i need to know is - is it completely safe? Is it in someway held by Stirling Ackroyd?

If the TDS is managed by then, can i get it transfered to something more independent?

I have a good relationship with my tenants. If i were to set up a completely new tenancy agreement (rather than the existing one being "extended" or "renewed" would that solve the problem? Could the letting agent sue me?

05/11/2010 00:00

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