Vague behavior from letting agent after being acquired

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    Vague behavior from letting agent after being acquired

    Hello,

    Question is from tenant, who is renting a room from letting agent.

    Recently, large estate agent group acquired the letting agent group that I signed a tenancy agreement with.


    After acquisition, the letting agent informed us by email that the bank account where the rent is being sent is going to change.


    They also told us they will continue to manage our property independently after acquisition.



    So the problem is that the bank account cant be found in the database of the bank. The sort code and account number is not recognised.

    Next, we tried to ask the letting agent to check if they have received the rent in case they made a mistake or any other reasons, which they told us they were unable to do. Letting agent just said that someone would have contacted me in case they wouldn't get my rent.

    I asked for receipt for the rent and they refused to give them, explaining that since acquisition they are still working on it and their system is still not ready or whatever (it is already about 4 months after changes happened)


    so I was just wondering if this is common and normal or something is not right?
    And what could possibly go wrong in this situation? For example, could they claim that i have stopped paying rent and the change of bank was just some kind of scam or whatever? Would me or other tenants of this house be sued for not paying rent?
    Because I haven't received invoice or receipt for rent and don't think if I have any proof, other than bank transfer statement.


    Or would you think it is common practice in London?



    Thanks

    #2
    If the sort code and account number are not recognised, how have you done a bank transfer?

    In the meantime, can you pay them by cheque?
    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


      #3

      It's not recognised as business in their database, as when you enter bank details, your bank can look for it and confirm it matches the information the bank have about the sort code and account number. You can still send the money.

      Comment


        #4
        jpkeats raises a good point about the transfer.

        So your old agent has been bought-out/acquired, but are still running the business for the new owners. That's not too unusual.

        The "manage our property independently after acquisition." is a bit odd (they'd be managing if for the new owners of the agency) but that may just be a missunderstanding.

        TBH it's not clear in your post if you are talking about the new bank account not being recognised or the old bank account not being recognised?
        The old one could have been closed if the business has changed hands, so that one would no longer be recognised.

        It's not even clear from your post if the new account belongs to the old owner or the new owners.

        If the account belongs to the new owners then the 'old' agent may not have access to check payments (yet), you may be better contacting the new owners to double check the account details and if they have received any payments from you.

        The fact that the previous owners won't/can't give a receipt, and say they can't even check if it's been recieved, may simply be because they don't yet have access to that account, but they should be able to request that information from the new owners so it would be ringing slight alarm bells for me.
        Again contact the new owners yourself to check.

        what could possibly go wrong in this situation?
        As an exampe - The old owner could be scamming you and disappear with any rent that you've paid (into a new account) since the acquisition, and then the new owner will still want paying the rent they didn't get from you.

        Who is your actual landlord? Has you landlord received any rent since the acquisition?

        Comment


          #5
          Who or what is named as landlord please? That's the entity you have the contract with.

          I'd want something in writing from landlord before making any changes.

          The whole "change" could be a scam?
          I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Ven View Post
            It's not recognised as business in their database, .... You can still send the money.
            That would ring the alarm bells louder for me.

            This setup is getting to sound more unusual. (It may be genuine but .....)

            You would expect a "large estate agent group" to have a business account for collecting rents, so has your old agent set up a personal account to take (possibly scam) your rent into?

            Contact the "large estate agent group" directly to make sure that they have indeed taken over this business, and your rental in particular.
            Contact your actual landlord to find out what he/she knows about all this, and again if he/she has been paid anything since this 'acquisition'.

            Comment


              #7
              I'd definitely stop paying rent (keep it safe, you'll have to pay it eventually) while this get's sorted out.
              There's no way I'd transfer money to an account that didn't match the name I was expecting.
              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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