Remarketing fees | The Tenants' Voice
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Remarketing fees

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1629 views 1 replies latest reply: 04 June 2015

I’ve just renewed my tenancy for a third year and, wanting to have a bit more flexibility in case life changes and we need to move, I checked the tenancy agreement for remarketing fees. Our agreement states that it will cost one month’s rent + VAT (non-refundable) to remarket the property should we get agreement from the landlord to release us from the tenancy early. Prior to signing, I asked for this to be changed to a lower fixed fee that reflected the actual costs of remarketing but received a flat refusal from the letting agents. 

It’s not a dealbreaker at this time as we don’t have any plans to move, I was just seeking to have more flexibility. However, I’m interested if anyone can explain why this fee is based on rent rather than being a fixed cost? It seems to me that remarketing of a property would incur approximately the same costs regardless of the amount of monthly rent being paid. It also seems excessively steep to be charged over £1000 for remarketing the property in the event that we seek to end the tenancy early. 

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Hi Dominic

The only way you can be released from the tenancy is if the landlord agrees to surrender the tenancy early in writing – or if you have a break clause that you can activate. If you have that agreement in writing then you wouldn’t be in breach of the tenancy to leave early and so you wouldn’t be on the hook for any rent.

I’ve seen these ‘remarketing’ fees a couple of times now and I think it’s just another way for agents to squeeze cash from tenants. Agents used to charge landlords for this – now I suspect they’re charging both landlords and tenants.

I would imagine that the fee is based on rent so that it’s higher – and so that it gives the impression that it’s somehow related to the tenancy, that you’re paying out your rent with this fee. When in actual fact the fee has nothing to do with the tenancy.

If you do end up wanting to leave I would just get the landlord’s permission in writing and then challenge the fee by making a complaint to the Property Ombudsman if they do try to charge you for it. I don’t know the wording of your agreement but it’s with the landlord, not the agent. Agents normally only get away with forcing people to pay this kind of cost by saying ‘you owe this, you have to pay it’ even though sometimes that’s actually not true…ALWAYS check and challenge letting agent demands.


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