The recent High Court case involving London-based sales and lettings agent Foxtons is a lesson for us all, says Mike White, of Norwich-based Martin & Co. The case looked at whether it was unfair to continue to demand “renewal” commission from a landlord if a tenant stayed on past the initial tenancy period – even if the agency had played no further part in arranging or managing the extended tenancy? Also should a letting agent be able to charge a percentage of the value of the property if the tenant goes on to buy it?
WOW! A simple rule to follow is that any contract not written in “plain and intelligible” language, should not be entered into. For example, at Martin & Co. our agency agreement is written in plain English and our fee structure is laid out in concise terms. All transparent! No ambiguity! Another issue arising from all of this; should letting agencies even charge renewal fees? We do (clearly set out at £50 + VAT) and we think it’s worth every penny but that’s another subject for another day……………..
Mike White’s at Martin & Co on 01603 766860 at 13 St Giles Street Norwich.