Property sublet, and agents ask rental back as Fraudulent Rental Payments

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  • Lawcruncher
    replied
    The position is not as straightforward as I had imagined when I wrote post 2.

    What actually happened is not entirely clear. I think we need full details.

    Leave a comment:


  • rambits
    replied
    Thanks for the advice, I have mentioned in the email replied to them regarding the negligence in accepting credit card payment on Thursday but nothing from the agent yet. will keep updating here. have a nice long weekend and keep safe.

    Leave a comment:


  • jpkeates
    replied
    I've had a thought.

    You could point out to the agent that their negligence in accepting rent paid by credit card is OK, because you haven't suffered any loss.
    If you give them the money back, the loss will exist and you could sue them in Tort (or counter claim if they try and sue you).

    Leave a comment:


  • DPT57
    replied
    Originally posted by rambits View Post
    ...can I refuse to payback the rent because the negligence of agent that causing my property be illegally sublet, and also the fraudulent payment? So the agent has to cover my loss?
    The sub-let is not illegal, its just a breach of contract. Arguably the Agent should have picked up the fact much earlier, but I doubt they could have prevented it. Your real beef with the Agent is that they took a credit card payment for rent.

    You could sue the Agent for the rent after returning it, but I think if it were me I would start by just declining to return the money on the basis of their incompetence and see what happens.

    Leave a comment:


  • jpkeates
    replied
    You can certainly try that.
    I would.

    Although the agent will point out that they weren't negligent about the subletting, they were culpable because of the credit card payment.
    Keep arguing that point, see how far you get.

    Leave a comment:


  • rambits
    replied
    Thanks, I have asked agent to send across the agreement but they said have to wait until coming back to office. You are correct that the loss should be on me as that was the money owe me not the agent, but can I refuse to payback the rent because the negligence of agent that causing my property be illegally sublet, and also the fraudulent payment? So the agent has to cover my loss?

    Leave a comment:


  • jpkeates
    replied
    Originally posted by rambits View Post
    Thank you, so you suggest to refuse the agent as that is their dereliction of duty by accepting credit card payment, am I correct on that? My worry is that if it is criminal to refuse the payback of fraud money?
    It isn't criminal to decline to payback fraud money - it's not your fraud, it's the tenants.

    I think that you are possibly liable for the return of the money, but I don't see any reason to make it easy for the not very useful agent.

    Taking credit card payments for rent is a no no (because of this situation) and then to ask you to pay their fees as well is beyond a joke.
    And there's a reasonable chance that they won't be 100% confident of their right to the money back.

    It may be helpful to have a look at the agreement you have with the agent, because it may cover this situation (if they take credit card payments regularly, it has probably happened to them before).

    But ultimately, the were collecting your rent, and it's your rent that's been recovered by the credit card company. The tenant owes you the rent, and only you can sue them to recover it.

    Leave a comment:


  • blinko
    replied
    Originally posted by rambits View Post

    Thank you, so you suggest to refuse the agent as that is their dereliction of duty by accepting credit card payment, am I correct on that? My worry is that if it is criminal to refuse the payback of fraud money?
    I would say civil this is a business transaction that hasn't worked out exactly how it was supposed to,

    1. we don't know if the card has actually been charged back or some idiot has pressed the wrong button at the estate agent
    2. You have done nothing wrong
    3. The tenants and their negligence is the reason why this situation has arisen, if this did go anywhere it would be small claims court.

    There should be some legal heads along soon to clarify but I would be in no hurry to return funds

    Leave a comment:


  • rambits
    replied
    blinko,

    Thanks for your point mate, yes please any legal expert can help?

    Leave a comment:


  • rambits
    replied
    jpkeates,

    Thank you, so you suggest to refuse the agent as that is their dereliction of duty by accepting credit card payment, am I correct on that? My worry is that if it is criminal to refuse the payback of fraud money?

    Leave a comment:


  • blinko
    replied
    I see your point and just debating with you as I think you have a valid point BUT I also think that it was the tenant that caused the loss to the agent NOT the landlord , this feels to me like a legally the landlord is off the hook but morally not.

    Would welcome some legal experts on this one

    Leave a comment:


  • jpkeates
    replied
    Originally posted by blinko View Post
    If the agent takes the landlord to court what is he going to say is the reason for suing him ?
    That he is the landlord's agent and collects the landlord's rent from the tenant.
    The tenant fraudulently persuaded their credit card company into reversing three payments and the landlord has declined to refund the agent for their loss.

    The landlord can sue the tenant for the rent owed, the agent can't (because it isn't owed to them).
    The agent is an intermediary in this transaction.

    Leave a comment:


  • blinko
    replied
    Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
    While it is the tenant's who caused the loss, the agent was collecting on behalf of the landlord, so the loss is the landlords.

    However, the agent shouldn't take credit card payments for rent and asking for the fee for the recalled rent is a bit much.
    So I'd decline and see what the agent actually does.
    I agree theoretically the loss is the landlords BUT legally for me this is the agents and tenants loss. Eg the agent would go to court and say I'm suing because I lost X amount to landlord. T would need to put right

    If the agent takes the landlord to court what is he going to say is the reason for suing him ?

    p.s to add to all of this we are assuming that the agent is telling the truth !

    Leave a comment:


  • jpkeates
    replied
    You may have more leverage with them if they'd make money selling your property.

    I'd start by taking the line that you won't pay them back.
    They shouldn't accept credit card payments for rent, it's an obvious scam.

    They should be challenging the chargeback on the basis the payment was for a service that's been received, and/or helping you take legal action against the tenant.

    Leave a comment:


  • rambits
    replied
    jpkeates,

    I have asked the key back to me and stop the selling process of that property as I don't trust them any more. They seem agree to return the key but also asking:
    "The keys will be sent to you shortly in the post. In the meantime please confirm when you will be paying the £2490.00 back."
    Should I decline that and tell them it is their fault to accept credit card payment so they need to cover my loss?
    So am I correct that the agent's full letting management service is just a money collecting service? How stupid I am to pay for that every month.

    Leave a comment:

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