1

I have a rental contract that expires on September 15th 2021. Now I have been told by the landlord that the agency will not represent him anymore from 1rst September 2021. Still the agent requires full payment of the month: I do pay on the 15th each month so 15 days are out of the contract between the landlord and the agency.

The agent is pressuring me that I have to pay them, and the landlord says the agency has no right after the first of September (he terminated the contract allegedly cause the agency did not pay him).

The agent is writing:

'if you continue to fail to communicate with the agency or pay your rent, as you have refused to pay we can proceed with a money claim against you.'

Who is entitled for my rent after 1rst of September? Should I pay the agent?

1
  • Since the agent is no longer the landlords agent, I'm not sure how they can demand money or sue you in court on the landlords behalf....
    – Ron Beyer
    Aug 17 at 15:01
3

Your contract is between you and your landlord. Separately, the landlord has a contract between himself and the agency.

Your obligation to pay rent is owed to your landlord, not to his agent.

Ask your landlord to send you an email (if you don't already have one) which requests you to pay rent from X date onwards to him directly. Then pay him the rent in the way he has requested.

Barring some unusual terms of the contract (which you haven't provided a copy of), the agent will not have any grounds to sue you.

2
  • Thanks. However in the contract the parties are 'me' and the Managing Agent (the landlord is not mentioned). Also I think the landlord wants the property back so he is as well pushing for putting us out (which he can't on short notice less than 4 months).
    – asasa178
    Aug 17 at 15:18
  • @ai20 Assuming the letting agent is a normal letting agent, then JBentley is correct: they are merely acting on behalf of the landlord, and your obligation is to the landlord, not the agent. In fact, they have no claim on the rent at all; their only claim is on their fee, which is a matter between them and the landlord. So, it sounds like a conversation (with e-mails to back it up) with both the landlord and agent might be necessary to help sort this out. Aug 19 at 8:51
3

Since you mention in your comment to the other answer that your contract is with the agent and not the landlord, it sounds like one of two things may be happening :

  1. The agent's collection department is not aware of the landlord's withdrawal from his contract with them
  2. The landlord's effort to terminate the contract with the agency has not been accepted by the agency

On one hand you have a written document (the contract with the agency), on the other it appears all you have is something someone has said. The contract will carry more weight in law.

It may be that the landlord has effectively withdrawn from his arrangement with the agency, in which case your contract with them has been "frustrated", as they are no longer able to supply their part of the agreement (the room / flat / house).

It would be worth responding (also in writing) to the agent with something like :

"[Landlord's name] has advised me that your agency will no longer be representing him after 1 September. Can you clarify what I will receive for any payment I make to cover the period 1 - 15 September, and to whom this payment should be made?"

It is important to make sure you don't accept that you "have refused to pay". You have delayed payment pending clarification.

This should nudge the agency into confirming that they are legally able to offer accommodation at that address in consideration of your payment to them - in other words it should clear up any confusion about whether they have accepted the withdrawal of the landlord from the contract they signed with him. If the answer to that is that they are unable to offer the room / flat / house, your contract with them has been frustrated and you will not be liable for "rent" (I've used quotes there, as it's not rent if there's no accommodation available. Worth also noting that I'm using "accommodation" from estate agents', rather than from lawyers', terminology in this paragraph.) It will also give you evidence that you're not refusing to pay, just asking for clarification.

If that doesn't provide a satisfactory (to you) answer, it sounds like you might be caught in a dispute between the landlord and the agency. That's when taking professional legal advice becomes the safest way to proceed, though since we're in the UK the local Citizens' Advice Bureau would be a good place to start.

2
  • Thanks. I believe it's case 2: the landlord did terminated the contract with the agency by 1rst Sep 21 because the agent missed paymet to him (breach). However (I assume I have no access to that contract), the agent contract has a clause that allow to take the rent fee from any tenant they procured even after termination (if they have not breached). The agent breach justify why first the agent is trying to force the tenants out of the property (law.stackexchange.com/questions/70645/…)
    – asasa178
    Aug 18 at 14:20
  • 1
    @ai20 : Sounds messy. A long legal dispute between the landlord and the Agency could leave you stuck in the middle. Worth making sure you're covered with correspondence between yourself and the agency, and that anything between yourself and the landlord is in writing. Aug 18 at 18:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.