Here is a question to the blog clinic from Christine who is a landlord
I used a letting agent to let my property for a year and draw up the tenancy agreement. The tenants are still there nearly 3 years on paying the same rent and the agent is still charging commission.
I would like to create a new tenancy agreement without using the agent and increase the rent. Can I do this?
It depends firstly on what your agency agreement with your agent says. So you need to get hold of this and read it. I am assuming that your agent is not a managing agent.
Your agency agreement should set out the procedure for ending the agreement, although some letting agents insert clauses saying that they are entitled to receive a commission for as long as the tenant remains in the property.
If that is the case, then the next question is, is that clause valid? Some clauses are void under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations (assuming you are not a professional landlord in which case the regulations would not apply as you would not be a ‘consumer’).
Clauses which provide for agents to receive a commission indefinitely when they are not managing the property are generally considered unfair although they can be fair if they are for a modest amount and for a limited period of time, say two years.
There was a big case a couple of years ago between the Office of Fair Trading (who police the regulations) and the letting agency Foxtons, and you can see my posts on this here.
It sounds to me, if your agent is not doing any management work and if you have been paying commission for three years, that you should be entitled to end the agreement. But do see what your agency agreement says before doing anything.
There is guidance for landlords in this position in my Landlord Law site >> here.