Problem letting agent

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    Problem letting agent

    I would like some advice please.

    My tenant is in £7,500 of rent arrears. He paid six months in advance and since then the rent has been late or not been paid. My agent whom I’ve had for seven years asked me to renew the tenancy when he was a month and a half in arrears.
    I stated that I did not wish to renew as the arrears could escalate. I was informed that things were difficult because of covid and that he would chip away at the arrears and pay the rent, so I agreed. Against my better judgement. That months rent was paid but nothing since.
    I have now served a s8 eviction notice. I then decided to make some enquiries myself. I have found that the tenant has been a director of three recruitment companies with three different sets of accountants. The first two companies have been dissolved. The current company had only been trading for two and a half months when he took my tenancy on. So I’m unsure what references were relied on for income by my agent as his books wouldn’t have been lodged until the following year. There is no guarantor.
    Additionally I have had to continually chase my agents each month re the rent. He also made a complaint against a staff member and he hasn’t been spoken to by the agent in person since the complaint back in January. I have asked for the financials and still not received them.

    Would I have any redress in the courts against the agent for my financial losses or don’t I have a leg to stand on? Thanks jayne

    #2
    You can complain to the agent and pursue it with their redress scheme and the property ombudsman if they don't give a satisfactory response.

    You know you shouldn't have renewed the tenancy and there was nothing in it for you, so why did you do it? Any claim you try and make against the agent is going to hit a problem the moment you agreed to do what they suggested (knowing it was a bad idea).
    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).

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      #3
      Many thanks for your reply yes I did think that may have been the case. I renewed as the agent was adamant this was the best course of action re covid and I would imagine the tenant pressed the point home that he would pay. I didn’t realise until it was pointed out to me afterwards that a periodic should have been used. Also I’ve been with the agent for over seven years so there’s a certain amount of trust there.

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        #4
        I think the next thing I'd do is tell the agent that they got you into this mess and they can get you out of it (otherwise there's some legal action coming their way - they have a fiduciary duty to put your interests above theirs or the tenants).

        I have a feeling (which is probably adding 2 and 2 and getting 5) that the tenant and the agent know each other.
        There's no way that person would pass any kind of vetting and suggesting a new tenancy in the circumstances was terrible advice.
        I don't see what Covid has to do with anything.

        I'd also ask the agent to see the results of the referencing and checks that they carried out.
        You might want to preempt them saying that can't do that because of "data protection by pointing out that the ICO has said that they were collecting the data on your behalf, so you are entitled to a copy of it.
        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


          #5
          Many thanks for your advice. I appreciate it yes I really can’t get my head around the referencing or lack of it! I have today run this by {letting agent name removed} and to say they were gobsmacked was an understatement. I’ve also just been informed by one of the neighbours that he is running a dog sitting business from there...So I’m trying to firm that up😳 So thanks again for the advice! Jayne

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