Absolutely incompetent agents

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    Absolutely incompetent agents

    First post but need a bit of advice.

    I own a rental property and due to a change in circumstances I had to serve notice on the tenant and the agents as I have to move back in. I notified the agents in writing on August 12th to terminate the shorthold agreement with the tenant and to sever their contract as of October 18. I never received any confirmation in writing however I have spoken to them on the odd occasion and they confirmed verbally that everything was set for the tenant to vacate on the last day of his tenancy. The deposit is held by the agency.
    I rang this morning to confirm everything was ok and I could collect the keys, inspect the property and ok the deposit going. To my utter shock I was told that ‘the tenant is going to have to remain in the property until October 30th as the agents were trying to find him an alternate place to live and couldn’t find anything sooner’
    By sheer luck I do not have to be out of my current property until November 4th however this has caused me a huge spanner as I was planning on making home improvements ect and painting the property before I moved back in…nevermind the fact that this is overstaying the tenancy by 12 days which I would expect rent to be paid to me for.
    I also do not want them to return the deposit until I have had a thorough inspection of the property either, the deposit is pre Protection scheme.
    The other issue is that I am worried that something will happen and the tenant will have to stay on and I will essentially be homeless as of 04/11.
    Is there any sort of legal recourse I can take against the utter incompetence of this shocking letting agency??? There is no written contract with them (all of this was set up by my now exwife but I am the sole owner of the property now)
    I obviously need to write them a strongly worded letter of complaint but if I knew I had some legal ground to stand on I would like to include that.
    I realise that if the tenant pays the agency rent then technically he is not squatting so I am not sure how I could go about getting a possession order for the property???

    #2
    What did you expect your agents to do - physically throw your tenants out onto the street if they did not vacate on Oct 18th? That would of course have been illegal.

    Seriously, although I am no fan of agents, I do not see how they could have acted otherwise. They served the s21 notice as you instructed; as in any other ' LL requiring possession' situation, if the T does not move out on the day you want them to, then you would have to apply for a court order and if necessary instruct bailiffs. That can take weeks or even months, so be glad that the agents are helping them find another place. You do not have the legal right to move back in on the last day of the tenancy unless T is compliant. The fact that it is your house and you have already chosen the new wallpaper is not reallly relevant; it is still his home, until he moves out.

    The end of tenancy inspection and return of deposit should take place as soon as T vacates.
    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

    Comment


      #3
      No, I understand he doesnt have to leave until I gain a possessin order thats fine, and I dont blame the tenant. What irritates me is that the agency knew about this for weeks. I am not optimistic he is going to leave on the 30th, and not holding my breath that the extra rent is going to be paid. Can I withhold this from the deposit if its pre-scheme? I would have assumed so.

      Comment


        #4
        Please state:
        a. on what date the term began;
        b. the length of the term granted; and
        c. on what date T will actually vacate (he says!)
        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


          #5
          The tenancy started on April 7 2006 for one year. The tenancy agreement is unsigned by the tenant, the agency, and neither my wife nor I.
          It rolled on month to month since then.
          I accquired the property in June this year thru divorce proceedings via title deed transfer TR1 (my exwife dealt with the property I had no involvement other than being on deed) It has taken me up to August to get any information from the letting agency, complicates that my exwife is best mates with one of the agents.
          There is no contract with the agency.
          Tenant was served S21 on August 18 to vacate october 18

          Comment


            #6
            I am still struggling to see what the agency have done so badly wrong here?

            When was the effective date that the T could have been served with their 2 months notice and when would their last date of tenancy have been? Are you claiming that the LA could have and should have acted sooner than they have done? No matter how fast the LA had acted when you instructed them it would not force T out on the date you want.

            When did you realise that you would want the property for your own use? Could you in hindsight have given the LA and the T more notice?

            pm
            Before acting on forum advice, you may wish to consult an expert, someone who has all the relevant facts, and who accepts liability for their advice.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by eyes on horizon View Post
              The tenancy started on April 7 2006 for one year. The tenancy agreement is unsigned by the tenant, the agency, and neither my wife nor I.
              It rolled on month to month since then.
              I accquired the property in June this year thru divorce proceedings via title deed transfer TR1 (my exwife dealt with the property I had no involvement other than being on deed) It has taken me up to August to get any information from the letting agency, complicates that my exwife is best mates with one of the agents.
              There is no contract with the agency.
              Tenant was served S21 on August 18 to vacate october 18
              1. The absence of a written/signed AST is irrelevant. The fixed term expired on (= at end of) 6 April 2007.
              2. If rent was due monthly during it, T acquired a Statutory Periodic Tenancy (SPT) of which the first month began on 7 April 2007.
              3. A fresh SPT begins monthly, each on 7th of month.
              4. Your s.21(4)(a) Notice on 18 August 2010 is therefore invalid; it cannot demand possession on 18 October.
              5. Instead, its date should have been 'after 6 November 2010': the first SPT-end date that follows at least two months from Notice service.
              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


                #8
                If you have no contract with the agency why are they involved at all and why are you blaming them for the fact that you did not know that your T did not intend to vacate on 18th?
                'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                  If you have no contract with the agency why are they involved at all and why are you blaming them for the fact that you did not know that your T did not intend to vacate on 18th?
                  T did not have to vacate on that date, of course.
                  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


                    #10
                    Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                    T did not have to vacate on that date, of course.
                    Did I said he did?
                    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Right, TA is actually dated 18/04/2006. My letter to the letting agents asks for them to give two months notice as of August 17th 2010. Was this incorrect as I asked advice of another agency if this was correct procedure.
                      I essentially gave notice as soon as I got a copy of the TA thru from the agents so no I couldnt have given any notice sooner.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by eyes on horizon View Post
                        Right, TA is actually dated 18/04/2006. My letter to the letting agents asks for them to give two months notice as of August 17th 2010. Was this incorrect as I asked advice of another agency if this was correct procedure.
                        I essentially gave notice as soon as I got a copy of the TA thru from the agents so no I couldnt have given any notice sooner.
                        It sounds correct, if tenancy runs from 18th-17th of the month; however, you are assuming that just because you have served notice, the T is obliged to move out. That is not the case, as explained above.
                        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                        Comment


                          #13
                          As stated above ALL of this was dealt with by my now ex wife. I know nothing about residential lettings hence why I am here. I aqquired a property in my divorce with a tenant in it, and I need to move back into that property. I want the tenant out and gave them two months notice, served on the agency as per the tenancy agreement states 'notice by either parties to be served at BLAH & BLAH. They have known the tenant wasnt going to be able to move out, and they have known for weeks. I would have thought they would have passed that info on to me, as the landlord. they were also paying the rent to my exwife up until last month, albeit with a fee deducted. I believe that this was all done via verbal agreement by my exwife as i said she is MATES with one of the agents. I am trying to do everyting legally and on paper. So i need to know if I have served the notice incorrectly for a start, the rent was payable on the 18th of each month. If the tenant stays until the 30th of october then can i deduct rent from his deposit??

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                            Did I said he did?
                            More or less, yes: why are you blaming them for the fact that you did not know that your T did not intend to vacate on 18th?
                            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
                              Originally posted by eyes on horizon View Post
                              Right, TA is actually dated 18/04/2006. My letter to the letting agents asks for them to give two months notice as of August 17th 2010. Was this incorrect as I asked advice of another agency if this was correct procedure.
                              I essentially gave notice as soon as I got a copy of the TA thru from the agents so no I couldnt have given any notice sooner.
                              As you have now changed the story, this changes my post #7. I'd reword it as follows:

                              1. The absence of a written/signed AST is irrelevant. The fixed term expired on (= at end of) 6 April 2007.
                              2. If rent was due monthly during it, T acquired a Statutory Periodic Tenancy (SPT) of which the first month began on 18 April 2007.
                              3. A fresh SPT begins monthly, each on 18th of month.
                              4. Your s.21(4)(a) Notice on 18 August 2010 is nevertheless probably invalid; it cannot demand possession on 18 October.
                              5. Instead, its date should have been 'after 17 November 2010': the first SPT-end date that follows at least two months from Notice service.
                              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

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