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.



  • Imelda Varquez
    replied
    alice123
    hi!
    The problem wasn’t dealt with since February and it damaged the property further.
    In full management all these worries about maintenance issue should be dealt with by the agent but in this case they have failed to do so. We are still not happy with our existing agent but we are trying to move on and do things that could help us out of our present predicament
    Thank you all for your kind advices.

    Leave a comment:


  • tatemono
    replied
    Originally posted by Em Bruce View Post
    Sarcasm should not have a place on this forum.
    It's a free country and forums resemble normal communication so I don't see why sarcasm should not, per se, have a place here. Not that I was being sarcastic though. I was being serious. It's very very important to accept that you only have yourself to blame if you sign a contract with terms and conditions that you later regret agreeing to. That way, you always go in with your eyes wide open.

    In any case, you should be more concerned about the fact that you think you don't have a contract just because you didn't sign a piece of paper. You do have one, but it would be verbal which may be less than helpful depending on what happens with the tenancy.

    I'm not sure how terms and conditions you haven't signed could be iniquitous either, but then... hey ho...

    Leave a comment:


  • alice123
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • Imelda Varquez
    replied

    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • alice123
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • Em Bruce
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • tatemono
    replied
    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'.

    Leave a comment:


  • Em Bruce
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • jpkeates
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Interlaken
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Imelda Varquez
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Em Bruce
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • jpkeates
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


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

    Leave a comment:

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