Agent lied and broke own terms, can I get rent paid directly to me?

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  • Agent lied and broke own terms, can I get rent paid directly to me?

    Hi there,

    Had trouble letting a property this summer and ended up going with the area's dodgiest lettings agent out of desperation.

    They have unfortunately lived up to their reputation, letting the flat to a mate of the agency's boss, lying to me in writing about when rent was received and how much, and being very late paying over both deposit and rent. We're still arguing about the amount of rent they've handed over.

    Their T&C's say "If you, the landlord decide to hold the Deposit yourself, in relation to an assured shorthold tenancy, we will transfer it to you within five working days after the commencement of the tenancy (providing we are given an indemnity in relation to any failure to pay or return the same)"

    Also on the rent, it says "endeavour to transfer all payments due to the Landlord...within 10 working days from the beginning of the Tenancy"

    On the face of it, they've broken these terms and from what I've read of "the law of agency" they've broken that too by lying.

    The rent we're arguing about relates to a rent-free period. They have taken their % fee for for rent free period as if rent was paid, claiming the terms allow this. The relevant bit of the terms is "of the total net rental value of the term of the tenancy as specified in the Lease or Tenancy Agreement exclusive of any applicable tax and is subject to VAT at the prevailing rate". To me this reads that they should be taking their % of the rent actually paid, i.e. net of the rent-free deduction.

    They have already taken their full fee for the whole first year of the tenancy, which is fine, so I'd like to get the remaining rent paid to me directly. If it goes via them they'll take forever to pay it over and make deductions. If there's any lawyers reading who know whether this is feasible I'd be interested to hear.

    Thanks for any thoughts.

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