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Tenant caught in the middle of a landlord / agent dispute

housesHere is a question to the blog clinic from Nadine who is a tenant

Hi. I am caught up in an issue between an agency and the landlord. The landlord wants to cut out the agency and go private with myself.

The agency says I’m their client and its a no! He said he would get them to serve notice on me, but the landlord says that I do not have to move as he does not want me to and that he will do the final inspection, end the contract and we then go private.

He’ll then instruct the agency to end the contract and to return the deposit.

But the agency say that under contract they have to do the final inspection and that all of my belongings have to be out to end contract and to get the deposit.

My tenancy was to end on 19th July and I was served notice a week ago to vacate on that date which is only one month. Shelter said the notice is invalid as it does not state section 21 of two months.

I told the agency this but they said they are not responsible for the one months notice, the landlord is! The landlord keeps saying not to worry as he wants me to stay and not to move anything. So angry I’m going through this..please help

This is ridiculous!  You are the landlords tenant not the agents!  The agent is just someone who represents the landlord.

For example the agents have no power to evict you if the landlord wants you to stay.  The only way you can be forced to leave is if court proceedings for possession are brought against you and only the landlord can do this.

If the landlord has told you he wants to manage the property himself then thats fine.  Deal with the landlord.  The agents will no longer have any authority to deal with you or the property.

If the agents are annoyed about this, they need to sort it out with the landlord not you.

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3 Responses to Tenant caught in the middle of a landlord / agent dispute

  1. The Agency are obviously unhappy that they have found a tenant and now the landlord wants to cut them out. Most Agents will have terms, conditions, notice periods, etc with their landlords to protect them from losing out.

    But as has been pointed out, that is a separate matter for them to resolve between themselves.

  2. Whether the notice is valid or not (it sounds like it isn’t), for clarity I would just ask your landlord to put their intentions in writing. I.e. that they want to renew your tenancy or let it go on to Statutory Periodic Tenancy (a rolling tenancy under the original terms) and confirm that the agent is no longer acting on their behalf.

    You should understand that if they do not renew your tenancy for another fixed term and it geos rolling then you have very little security; the landlord will usually only have to give two months notice if you pay rent monthly.

  3. There is a clear message to Landlords here – make sure that you are aware of what your Agent is doing, and that it is in accordance with their authority. As Tessa points out, the tenancy is with the Landlord. The Agent has to act in the Landlord’s best interests, and to fail to do so may entitle the Landlord to terminate the Agency contract for breach of the Agent’s fiduciary duty.

    Whether, and how, a Landlord can terminate an agency contract really depends on the contract itself. When engaging an Agent, a Landlord should carefully check the contract terms to see what termination penalties there may be



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

The Landlord Law Blog from Tessa Shepperson

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

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Legal services are provided via Tessa's online service Landlord Law. Some advice services are provided by Tessa, other legal services are provided by specialist housing firm Anthony Gold.


The purpose of this blog is to provide information, comment and discussion. Although Tessa, or guest bloggers, may from time to time, give helpful comments to readers' questions, these can only be based on the information given by the reader in his or her comment, which may not contain all material facts. Any comments or suggestions provided by Tessa or any guest bloggers should not therefore be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice from a qualified lawyer regarding any actual legal issue or dispute.

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