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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7620
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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We rent out property through an estate agency and they signed

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We rent out property through an estate agency and they signed a twelve month contract on our behalf and we had no idea; we were told the tenant wanted to lease the property for a year so assumed it would be 6 months with a renewal as we didnot know year contracts were advised it indeed existed . We went to give notice to the tenants through the estate agents as my husband is relocating back to the area due to work and it now means he will lose the job and my children will not be able to acquire the school places or get settled in time for the new school year we thought it expired in may and the estate agents are saying we can't have our house back until November. We did not sign the contract or see it as we left it to the estate agent but were never asked if we agreed to a years contract and we wouldn't have done as we have had trouble with tenants in the past

Did you sign a full management contract with the agents?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
We signed an initial contract agreeing to the managing the property for us yes but there were no details ale ivied on it other than the rental in one per calendar month and the tenants deposit required.
There was no mention of any thing to do with a twelve or even six month lease it was all regarding their fees and collection of rent etc to market the property with them for rental.
We have t signed anything else since
Kind Regards

Thanks for your patience.

It’s a massively frustrating position to find yourself in but if you have signed a full management agreement with them then you will not be able to evict the tenant unless they breach the tenancy and afford you the right to serve a s8 Housing Act 1988 notice and proceed with a possession claim.

If they have a full management agreement then they are legally able to grant a tenancy to the tenant. This means that you have no recourse against the tenant and they are entitled to occupy the premise under the tenancy agreement which is legally enforceable.

However, it seems clear that there has been either no communication or miscommunication with the agent about the extent of their authority on the terms of the tenancy agreements which they are able to grant.

If it is the case that you were not asked whether there were limits to the amount of term a tenancy would be granted on then I would say that the agent has probably not discharged the full extent of their responsilbities in getting your instructions. You should put that to them and ask them why they did not take your instructions on the length of term.

If they accept that they have not discharged their duty in getting your instructions then you will have to negotiate some kind of compromise with them, possibly on their fees.

If they dispute that they have not taken your instructions then you may consider seeing a local solicitor about writing a letter before action to them advising that a claim shall be issued against them unless you can agree a compromise or settlement.

I am very sorry that I could not have better news for you.

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Kind regards,

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks Tom
Could I trouble you for your opinion as to whether its worth pursuing it or accepting it?
The firm my husband works for is not doing too well in the financial climate therefore we are looking to relocate back to our home to prevent redundancy . He is in nanagement but the firms he specialises for rarely have vacancies.The new job package was excellent but we couldn't take it as I would lose my job as a ward sister in the process and were moving on the premise that we would have no extra costs as we were planning on being back in our own house etc let alone the disruption to the childrens schooling with my son due to start high school .
Will any of this work in our defence/ favour at all or will it just be a case of the fact we signed the initial management contract so have to just accept it or by involving a local solicitor to respond to the estate agents in your opinion is it worth the hassle or will the law stay on the tenants side because they have a contract for our property.
Kind Regards XXXXX XXXXX you in advance for your honest opinion
Hi Julia,

If you signed a management agreement with the agents and they executed the tenancy agreement with the tenants then the tenancy will be legally binding, no question. This means that the tenants will be able to stay in the property for the duration of the tenancy term unless they breach a term/condition of the tenancy.

So far as getting the tenants out you have no chance at the moment.

However, if the agents have not adequately taken your instructions then you may have a completely separate claim against them if the service they have provided has fallen below a reasonable care and skill under the Supply of Goods and Services Act. This means that you might be able to either claim some money from them or get out of some of the fees that are otherwise due under your management agreement with them.

If they are willing to cough up any money then you coudl attempt to negotiate a Surrender of Tenancy with the tenants, whereby you and they both agree in writing that the tenancy should be terminated. However, the tenants are under no duty to do this and so would likely require that you pay them a fee for this.

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