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Are returning tenants subject to agents commission clauses?

FlatsHere is a question to the blog clinic from James (not his real name) who is a landlord:

Hi – An agency found me a tenant some time ago for 18 months with a break option after 6 months.

The tenant is going to the US for 3 months and is ending the contract. But he has asked if we can deal directly when he comes back, if the flat is still available.

I know I have an agreement with the agent to pay them commission for renewals but, given that the tenant actually leaves the flat, would I still have to pay the agents their commission?

It will really depend on the wording of your agency agreement and you need to read this carefully.

I suspect that if the tenancy actually ends as you say and the tenant moves out with you getting vacant possession, this will mean that if they come back several months later, this will be a new tenancy and not subject to the commission charge.  However this is not necessarily the case.

For example you could have a problem the it is specifically agreed between you and the tenant that he will return, and you keep the property  for him and do not offer it on the market.

You would be in a better position if the property was re-let to someone else in the interim.

However as I said, it will very much depend on the precise wording of the clause in your agency agreement.

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One Response to Are returning tenants subject to agents commission clauses?

  1. If the agent is dealing with the tenancy end and you then disinstruct them, why would they suspect or know that you let it to the same person a few months later? Not that I could possibly encourage you to break a contractual agreement of course!

    I really dislike the way some agents
    hold their clients indefinitely in this way.



About the post author:

Tessa Shepperson

Tessa is a lawyer and specialises in creating products and services which help landlords and letting agents learn and understand landlord & tenant law. For example, she runs the Landlord Law website (now in its 14th year) and is a director of Easy Law Training Ltd and Your Law Store. Tessa also sits on the Property Redress Scheme Council. When not working she enjoys reading, cooking and messing around on the computer. You can also find her on Google

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Tessa is an English lawyer specialising in residential landlord and tenant law.

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