End of contract fees
Question from Hope updated on 26th March 2018:
I decided to end my contract with my current agent. But he has chosen to end the contract immediately and has charged me two months fees.
The background is that earlier this month we came for an inspection but were late. So we called the agent and explained why we were late but he would not have a bar of it. So we left - only to find out if
we had been early we wouldn't have been able to access to the property as he did not have the keys (new keys fitted by tenant) to the property. We expressed our concern.
My question is: does he have the right to charge us two months fees and not be the agent because as it is we are in contravention of the RTA section 16A?
Our expert Bernard Parker responded:
The contract of management that you have with your current property manager should specify how much notice must be given to terminate the management. If it isn’t specified, then a reasonable notice period should apply. Some management contracts allow one month’s notice.
It seems unreasonable that an agent can terminate immediately and still claim two months’ fees. One would normally expect the agent to work out that two month period unless you choose to end his involvement earlier.
I suggest you look at the wording of your management contract. If you and the agent can’t agree on a resolution, you could make an application to the Disputes Tribunal. If you live overseas it is possible for you to have a telephone link to the Tribunal hearing.
Bernard is principal of Quinovic – Kapiti-Mana. Quinovic's outstanding people and systems provide the most professional, effective and reliable residential property management service in the NZ market for over 30 years.