Agent ignored L's instructions re term; ostensible authority?

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    Agent ignored L's instructions re term; ostensible authority?

    Hi, I have recently let out a property using a letting agent, I asked for the property to be let on a 6 month agreement, The letting agent has signed a tenancy on my behalf for 12 months with no break clause in it. Where do i stand here? can i make the LA change the tenancy agreement or am i now tied in for 12 months?, any help appreciated.
    Thanks.

    #2
    1. Your Agent (A) had your ostensible authority to let for 12mths., despite the 6mth. restriction that you imposed.
    2. The restriction is unknown to T who has no need to query what L is offering on your behalf.
    3. So:
    a. as between you (L) and T, you are bound; but
    b. as between principal (you) and A, A has committed a breach of contract.
    4. Send Letter Before Action to A, threatening proceedings unless A compensates you.
    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks for reply jeffery, I am quite unsure what to do here, you say ask for compensation? what sort of compensation can i ask for here? also if the agent doesnt budge what kind of proceedings can i take against them? Surely an agent cannot just rent out your property for any lenth they choose, i would of thought anything other than a 6 month tenancy agreement would need the landlords permission. thanks for any help guys..

      Comment


        #4
        Anybody?...

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Captain Birdseye View Post
          Thanks for reply jeffery, I am quite unsure what to do here, you say ask for compensation? what sort of compensation can i ask for here?
          Depends on what financial loss you have suffered as a result of the screw-up. Why did you specifically want a 6-month agreement rather than a 12-month one - just to protect yourself against getting a dodgy tenant for too long? If so, and if the tenant ends up staying in place for 12 months without problems, then I doubt there's any reason to justify compensation.

          Comment


            #6
            The thing that really bothers me is that the agent just does what they like and thats ok?? I told agent to rent property for 6 months, they have blatently ignored me, obviously this is to guarantee themselves 12 months commision, i suppose the best thing is not to let an agent sign tenancy agreement on your behalf this is the only way to stop these crooks...

            Comment


              #7
              You could raise a complaint with the LA, but its unlikely to result in much.

              As stated above you will only have a claim against LA for their breach if you have suffered loss.
              PAUL GIBBS, solicitor, Jacobs & Reeves. My comments on this forum are correct to the best of my knowledge and belief. No responsibility or liability is accepted by reason of reliance upon such comments. This disclaimer would not apply to direct clients of Jacobs & Reeves where there is a valid retainer in place and I would be happy to confirm any advice if formally instructed. . Jacobs & Reeves now offer a fixed fee possession service.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Captain Birdseye View Post
                The thing that really bothers me is that the agent just does what they like and thats ok?? I told agent to rent property for 6 months, they have blatently ignored me, obviously this is to guarantee themselves 12 months commision
                Well if they have done so deliberately it would be a bit short-sighted of them in that they have presumably guaranteed themselves no repeat business from you.

                I don't know how your contract is structured, but the usual complaint against agents is that they insist on drawing up new contracts (and charging both LL and T handsomely for doing so, every 6 months, when it's completely unnecessary.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Captain Birdseye View Post
                  The thing that really bothers me is that the agent just does what they like and thats ok?? I told agent to rent property for 6 months, they have blatently ignored me, obviously this is to guarantee themselves 12 months commision, i suppose the best thing is not to let an agent sign tenancy agreement on your behalf this is the only way to stop these crooks...
                  I told an agent in writing that he did not have authority to sign the AST - I insisted that I had to sign it - he went ahead anyway and signed it. The answer? Do it yourself!
                  Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by islandgirl View Post
                    I told an agent in writing that he did not have authority to sign the AST - I insisted that I had to sign it - he went ahead anyway and signed it. The answer? Do it yourself!
                    Was it in the agreement between yourself and the agent?
                    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                      1. Your Agent (A) had your ostensible authority to let for 12mths., despite the 6mth. restriction that you imposed.
                      2. The restriction is unknown to T who has no need to query what L is offering on your behalf.
                      3. So:
                      a. as between you (L) and T, you are bound; but
                      b. as between principal (you) and A, A has committed a breach of contract.
                      4. Send Letter Before Action to A, threatening proceedings unless A compensates you.
                      I'm not sure this is correct - LL may not be bound under the tenancy agreement under the law of agency, if A has exceeded his authority.

                      Just by way of example, if I pose as an agent acting for the owner of buckingham Palace, and purport to have authority to sign on behalf of my principal in relation to a tenancy agreement, and do so sign, I am unsure that the owner would be bound by the terms of the tenancy agreement.

                      I will look into this to back this up, and post again.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by dominic View Post
                        I'm not sure this is correct - LL may not be bound under the tenancy agreement under the law of agency, if A has exceeded his authority.

                        Just by way of example, if I pose as an agent acting for the owner of buckingham Palace, and purport to have authority to sign on behalf of my principal in relation to a tenancy agreement, and do so sign, I am unsure that the owner would be bound by the terms of the tenancy agreement.

                        I will look into this to back this up, and post again.
                        Dominic
                        You are posing as an agent in your hypothetical example, but OP's agent was appointed as his agent.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Dominic: look for 'ostensible [or 'apparent'] authority'. Try:
                          a. http://legal-dictionary.thefreedicti...t%20authority; or
                          b. http://www.lexology.com/library/deta...7-a1ca83e21e26
                          JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                          1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                          2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                          3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                          4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Sad S View Post
                            Dominic
                            You are posing as an agent in your hypothetical example, but OP's agent was appointed as his agent.
                            Yes. Once the principal appoints the agent, any limitations on authority unknown to outsiders do not limit what the agent's apparently authorised to do.
                            JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                            1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                            2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                            3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                            4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I am not sure that matters from the perspective of the third party (and possibly as far as the law of agency is concerned).

                              I may be wrong, but something is nagging at the back of my mind on this.

                              Comment

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