Legal help with rogue letting agent

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    Legal help with rogue letting agent

    Hi

    I was wondering if someone on this forum might be able to give advice on the course of action to take related to a rogue letting agent.

    Last year a letting agent I had used to rent out my property had, without my consent, allowed my tenant to leave mid-term and replaced them with another tenant. To appease matters (after I raised the illegality of their actions) the letting agent agreed to take over the contract themselves for a further 12 months, in effect becoming the tenant and taking responsibility for rent, damage etc. A new contract was signed with the letting agent named as the tenant.

    Since then, the letting agent has failed to pay the rent on time on 4 separate occasions, and for the latest arrears they have now stopped responding to emails and phone calls.

    I have issued them an arrears letter (the 4th time I have now had to do this) but what further action can I now take? I have read online that I can report the letting agent to Trading Standards, which I intend to do, but should I get a lawyer involved and can I pursue them through the Small Claims court? The fact that they are acting as the letting agent AND tenant makes things a bit complicated.

    Furthermore, they have collected a deposit from the tenant now occupying my apartment but have deposited it themselves which I presume means they hold responsibility over it, even if they are the tenant on my contract?

    I'm also thinking it would be best to cut ties completely with them an issue notice on my apartment, so any advice on this process would also be gratefully received.

    #2
    Talk about out of the frying pan into the fire! Search the forum for rent to rent horror stories. You will probably need legal help to get out of this one.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by ricoeliso View Post
      Last year a letting agent I had used to rent out my property had, without my consent, allowed my tenant to leave mid-term and replaced them with another tenant. To appease matters (after I raised the illegality of their actions) the letting agent agreed to take over the contract themselves for a further 12 months, in effect becoming the tenant and taking responsibility for rent, damage etc. A new contract was signed with the letting agent named as the tenant.
      The letting agent's actions in replacing the tenant weren't necessarily illegal, they were possibly unprofessional and may have broken their agreement with you.

      However, when they exchanged the agreement for one where they are the tenant, they changed the nature of the tenancy, so it is no longer an Assured Shorthold Tenancy and is now a different type of let, because it's let to a company. They shouldn't have done that without explaining the consequences.

      Since then, the letting agent has failed to pay the rent on time on 4 separate occasions, and for the latest arrears they have now stopped responding to emails and phone calls.
      I would get a solicitor involved immediately,

      I have issued them an arrears letter (the 4th time I have now had to do this) but what further action can I now take? I have read online that I can report the letting agent to Trading Standards, which I intend to do,
      Do that. The agent also has to be a member of a professional body with a redress scheme, which will have a complaints procedure which you should follow. If should be on their website or displayed in their premises.
      Check that out first and if they're not, tell trading standards that as well.

      but should I get a lawyer involved and can I pursue them through the Small Claims court? The fact that they are acting as the letting agent AND tenant makes things a bit complicated.
      It doesn't complicate things as much as you think.


      Furthermore, they have collected a deposit from the tenant now occupying my apartment but have deposited it themselves which I presume means they hold responsibility over it, even if they are the tenant on my contract?
      That tenant has nothing to do with you at the moment, the agent is subletting to the person living their and are that person's landlord, not you.

      If the agent ends their tenancy with you and that person doesn't move out, you could be in a bit of a mess, because the occupant would automatically become your tenant, and you won't have been able to do any of the things you have to have done as a landlord (such as protect their deposit.

      I'm also thinking it would be best to cut ties completely with them an issue notice on my apartment, so any advice on this process would also be gratefully received.
      Which is why you should be careful about this.
      If you serve notice on them it might end the tenancy (it depends on the exact wording of the tenancy agreement) and then you're probably stuck with their tenant.
      Alternatively, they might serve their own notice, which might also end the tenancy.

      You need a solicitor who knows what they're doing.
      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

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