Agent terminated agreement with no notice & charged 9 months fee
I am an overseas landlord, with one property rented for 12 months initially last year, contract with tenants renewed for another year in Jan 2011. My agent has today , with no notice or warning, terminated our agreement (we have been in dispute for some months now about his handling of a boiler breakdown at the property, his general level of service, which has been appalling, and his failure to adhere to parts of the agreement) and had charged 9 months letting fee - see extract from emails below:
Furthermore, as stated, in view of the events over Christmas we are unable to act as your managing agent. As stated within the terms either party is able to change or terminate the agreement, however whilst the Tenants remain in situ we are entitled to our Letting - Introducing fee for the term of the Agreement/Occupancy.
Note - nothing is stated in the contract re termination of agreement, so he is not correct here.
Whilst it does state in the agreement that he can charge a commission for introduction in the second and any subsequent years of the tenancy, he did not directly charge this in the first year, instead this was included in his monthly 10% management charge (per his statement of account) In addition, surely he is not able to summarily charge a fee without any reference or agreement if he has decided without my agreement to just end the contract?
He has deliberately waited until the tenant paid him the rent for April a few days ago before just deducting this 'commission' and then just told me via email that he's done so and is terminating our agreement immediately!
Do I have a case? If so, what can I base this on? Is it worth sending him a solicitor's letter?
I'm a novice here, this is my first time as a landlord...many thanks
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