Need advise about a property that is supposed to be fully managed

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    Need advise about a property that is supposed to be fully managed

    We have a property that got a damp problem. I flagged it to the agent last January after we visited the tenant since we were in the neighbourhood. By February they have their contractor looked at the flat and given me figures for the work to be done. After a few days a governement agency contacted the agent and us because the tenant has complained about the damp issue. They have agreed that by 6th of March he will check the work. By end of February I called the agency to ask if the work was finished but a staff said the landlord didnt't agree with the quotation. I said I did. They found out that the staff I spoke to hasn't passed on to them our agreement. This is because he is about to leave the agency. I guess he cannot be bothered. I have also asked about the arrears of the tenant as they haven't paid since December and I am paying an insurance for the tenants monthly payment but due to the damp they cannot claim for me. They said after we fix the problem.
    The agent also said they have contacted the government agency and they have agreed to extend the the completion on the 16th (or something)and they said to me they explained what happened about their staff that caused the delay. I asked the agent to provide me a copy of their correspondence withthe goverment agency but I wasn't given any.
    April I called after 2 weeks for update. We have been told that the contractor been there but the wall was so damp so they need dehumidifier. We asked if they can put the radiator and exhaust while waiting for the wall to dry and be treated. They said yes and that they have informed the government agency. I asked for the exact figure of costing and their correspindence with the government agency, again, I didn't receive any. They said the contractor said they are able to lower the cost for the work. But no figures given.
    May time came, I called the tenant themselves and asked if the work was done. He said no. And that the contractor only came twice and just put dehumidifier. He also said that they received a letter saying that the contractor cannot do the work whilst they are there but they need time to save enough money to look for another place.
    The contract of the tenant will be ending this May. Can we ask them to leave? I don't even know if we can still recoup their 6 months rent. And the worse is the worsened damp in our property which could have been avoided if it was sorted promptly.
    We are not happy with the agent because we feel that they have neglected our property. What can we do? We feel we are being starngled in the middle. We are new to the business that is why we trusted the agent and gone full management.



    #2
    Solid wall of text,

    Comment


      #3
      I am sorry if you find my post as such. I didn't intend it to come across as intimidating. I am just disgruntled and desperate for an advise as we were informed that we will be served notice if we don't fix the damp within 2 weeks. We will be getting contractors in but we don't know what to do with the tenant and the agent.

      Comment


        #4
        the agent will have a complaints process. get that and follow it. if they don't respond take it to their redress scheme.

        Comment


          #5
          I would let the tenants serve notice and leave.

          Then sack the agent and either find another one or manage the property yourselves.

          Fix the damp problem and relet.
          When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
          Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

          Comment


            #6
            I'm a newbie, so forgive me if this topic has been covered before.
            Sacking an agent is not easy because of the iniquitous terms and conditions, sanctioned by the Property Ombudsman, which state that the agent may continue to receive his fees after termination " for two renewals of the tenancy". So the landlord will be paying two lots of fees for at least a year. Does anyone know of a court judgement which might help?

            Comment


              #7
              Thank you for the kind advises. I shall ask the agent their complaint process. The agent belongs to a is quite a big company. The manager of their branch has apologised but I have been chasing them for 4 months to address the problem, I think the apology is too late.
              Can I serve notice to the tenant to vacate the property at the end of their contract even if the damp problem remains unsolved?
              I am afraid that our property will continue to deteriorate and we bought to property to get income not to run a charity.

              Comment


                #8
                I was always of the opinion that major works such as this were not usually covered by 'full management' and indeed if I were the owner I would take control myself and not trust an agent.
                Make the agent sue you if they think there is a breach of contract - bet they don't.

                You need to give tenant 2 months notice from end of a rental period - issue documents now on Form 6a ( it changes on 1st June). Tenant may choose to leave earlier or maybe you could encourage them to go by a cash offer.



                Freedom at the point of zero............

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Em Bruce View Post
                  the iniquitous terms and conditions, sanctioned by the Property Ombudsman, which state that the agent may continue to receive his fees after termination " for two renewals of the tenancy". So the landlord will be paying two lots of fees for at least a year.
                  What makes you think the property ombudsman has sanctioned any terms?

                  Google Foxtons case and tell the agent to stick their stupid term.

                  When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                  Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I cross-examined one of the IPO staff; she was unable to justify the provision, but insisted that it was legit.
                    Thanks for the advice re Foxtons; I'll check it out.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Em Bruce View Post
                      Sacking an agent is not easy because of the iniquitous terms and conditions,
                      Ending any contract you enter into fully literate, able to read from end to end and sign of your own free will is as "iniquitous" as you want it to be.

                      I have contracts with three letting agents. Two only require us to give a month's notice in writing and we can end the contract at any time and take over management. One requires us to give one month's notice after 6 months have elapsed in any current tenancy. None of them require us to pay any fees even if the current tenant has been sourced by them.

                      We have turned down more than one agent who has offered us terms with cancellation fees or that lock us into paying them until tenancies end. Shop around and you'll find agents who have terms that are less than 'iniquitous'.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Thanks, Tatemono, for the info in your 2nd and 3rd paras. Re your 1st, I have never, for reasons too boring to relate here, signed a contract so that should be my way out.

                        Sarcasm should not have a place on this forum.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          What exactly is the damp problem ? leaking roof ? water coming in ? what needs to be done ? maybe extractor fan ?in my experience i find tenants complain about damp yet they are drying all their clothes indoors (which could happen with a flat) and not opening windows after shower ect and that was the problem - i would also ask them to let air circulate and put in damp crystals and even a dehumidifter

                          Comment


                            #14

                            Ventilation. That is why when we first agreed to the works, we have agreed for 2 extractor fans to be put in, 3 new radiators will also be installed. Iniatially they said 3 days work.
                            Update.
                            The agent, with a new contractor and the person who handles the complain came in to the property recently. The first contractor has put in dehumidifiers before to help dry the walls but when they checked the property 2 days ago they saw that the dehumidifiers unplugged.
                            (And I am being charged £200.00+ for the dehumidifier that they have put. Which of course wasn’t in the list of things that we have agreed on. But should they have sorted it immediately, the rental of the dehumidifier won’t have reached 2 months.)
                            The agent said the property has deteriorated further. It is not surprising as they have left it for 3 months to get worse. I pointed out to the agent that should it have been dealt with straight on we will not be in this position.
                            The agent argued that it is the faulty structure that caused it.
                            Can anybody advise if I could sue the agents for negligence?
                            it is full management because we don’t live in the area/town and we are a newbie.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I dont know about suing the agents for negligence as in my experience which is limited so long as the problem is 'in hand' then its being dealt with -
                              I think you may have been ripped off with the dehimidifer costing 200 pounds seems a litte too much
                              i think once the extractor fans are in the damp problem will subside

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