Problem with Lettings Agent

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    Problem with Lettings Agent

    I have some major problems that have occurred between myself and my old lettings agent that has lost me a non-refundable deposit, a months rent (min) and damaged my business reputation.

    The complaint is quite long and has many points so I will try to condense each point as a summary below and then explain in more detail afterwards. Any help would be much appreciated.

    Summary Position.

    (1) Lettings Agent disinstructed themselves from me on the 15/04/2011 based on factually incorrect information,
    (2) Lettings Agent have failed under their own TOB and the expected COB stipulated by the PO.
    (3) Lettings Agent have failed under their "Duty Of Care" to me as the Land Lord, and have with held a non-refundable deposit (£1447.50) from a newly agreed let on the 8th March 2011
    (4) Lettings Agent have then proceeded to try and take credit for a newly agreed let for which they have had no involvement.
    (5) Lettings Agent have failed to provide all documentation held about me under my request under the DPA.
    (6) Lettings Agent have discussed my position with ARLA and made decisions based purely on here-say and failed to support me as the paying Land Lord and their "Duty of Care" towards me.
    (7) Lettings Agent have acted hypocritically according to PO COB and "Duty Of Care" to tenants according to LA position.
    (8) Lettings Agent have cost me 4 weeks marketing and rent (£1795:00) potential from the date they removed my house from market to the date they dis-instructed themselves from me.
    (9) Lettings Agent have contradicted themselves in their own letters to me.
    (10) Lettings Agent have damaged my reputation, and supported defamatory comments being made about me.


    (1) LA advised they were disinstructing themselves based on information they had received from my tenant and issues I had with my previous tenants. My first point is that although managers at the LA all state I have had 3 disputes, i.e. with all of my tenants, this is factually incorrect. LA CEO even states he was approached to assist in dispute with (1st let), but I had no such dispute (and no TDS record either) and as such he based his facts on incorrect information. My second let did involve a dispute with an American family , and I allowed the formal process of the TDS to resolve which went in my favour. Regardless of this fact though I fail to see why this is of any concern to anyone else other than myself and the family involved, even if I had 100 disputes, but it seems now that the LA are using this, and the fact that I now have another dispute with my last tenant as something detrimental towards me as the landlord rather than supporting me, as they are responsible for the provision of these very poor tenants. All evidence to support both dispute cases I have had have been put before the TDS have been supported with photographic evidence checked off against a formally agreed inventory, so I fail to see what I have done wrong. LA contacted ARLA and using the (incorrect) information they had, discussed the case with ARLA, and were advised to drop me as a client. Any discussions they had with ARLA can (a) only be based on here-say as they never discussed with me and (b) according to ARLA, would have needed to have been provided in writing to their legal department (I phoned to check), and as such under my requests under the DPA, LA have still failed to provide this and other documentation I have requested, and have now failed to meet the deadlines specified under that process to provide/disclose any such documentation.

    (2) LA are expect under the letting guidelines stipulated by the PO, to provide a duty of care to the landlord (primarily) yet they have failed to do this in any way shape or form, but instead have favoured the tenants input and never even had the courtesy to discuss this with me. Under their own TOB they should have given me 7 days notice before disinstructing from me, during which time if they had discussed with me, perhaps the situation would have been different as they would have had the full story if they then discussed with ARLA, but they didn't and now just have excuses as to why these time-lines were not adhered to.

    (3) I have confirmed via a friend that the LA take a non-refundable deposit which is quite clearly held for the landlord, should an agreed let be stopped by the tenant, in order to prevent tenants signing up to a property let, then withdrawing after the property has been removed from the market. This is exactly what has happened, with the LA removing my house from the market at the beginning of April, taking a deposit (£1477.50) , and then returning it to the tenants when they (LA) disinstructed themselves from me. It was not my fault that the LA over reacted to here-say and the deposit was held to ensure I did not loose new potential tenants once the house was removed from the market. My expected new tenant had indeed agreed a let , and as such a deposit was taken and that should therefore be paid to me as it was to protect my business, and was described and sold to me as a service in this way. I have an email from the LA to confirm this. Ultimately the tenants sought alternative accommodation as stated by the LA in an email , so it is either the tenant or the agent that has broken the contract, not me. LA owe me £1447.50 for this.

    (4) As a result of loosing the "agreed let" , I immediately advertised my property with other agencies. However my old LA have stated in final response letter that (the property would still be available via new agents- how on earth would they know this, its my choice yet LA was advising individuals without consulting me !!) Luckily for me the tenant I lost initially re-applied when they saw new "To Let" boards and asked why he could not still have my house, it was perfect for him. So his companies agent phoned around and eventually took it back on for the agreed let price albeit a week later with an new estate agent. It seems my old LA are now trying to lay some claim to providing this service, and say I have not suffered any loss which is again not true. My old LA had no part in ensuring my house was re-advertised and it was purely luck that ensured my new tenant saw it advertised again. My old LA also state I did not suffer any loss, which is not the case. The house was removed from the market at the beginning of April, at which time numerous prospective tenants were interested and turned away. My house could have been let immediately, but the terms of the let with an agreed new tenant were favourable so I agreed to wait for this let. I therefore have lost a months rent (at the very least) due to old LA disinstructing from me and costing me this let, as the house would have been taken by another client immediately. Also according to LA, they have a "Duty Of care" to the tenants, and as such before taking non-refundable deposit, should (according to LA own words) have provided new tenant with information pertaining to my previous dispute which they failed to do, and (in their own words) did not do so as he was Spanish and did not understand the letting process in the UK. This is discrimination !! I don't agree that the LA should be telling all parties of previous disputes at any rate, as these are perfectly legitimate, and if the LA provide poor tenants this is going to happen, however if they are advising that because an ex tenant said this is what they must do, and based on this information disinstructed from me, why did they fail to advise my newly aligned new tenant simply because he was Spanish ?. This is hypocritical, and one way or another a failure to either myself or a tenant or both under their obligation re "Duty Of Care". !! Additionally LA should not be getting involved in any way shape or form because they were not involved in managing my property, and have reacted based purely on comments made by tenants that were upset that they should have to pay for damage they have caused, and property they have stolen, yet LA say they feel obliged to discuss this with other people and have done so, which is effectively defamation of character, the impact of which has seriously damaged my business and reputation.

    (5) I have asked on 2 occasions under the DPA for all related documentation to me held by LA to be provided but as yet LA have failed to meet their obligations under this Act and specified timelines to react have been breached.

    (6) LA have discussed my case with ARLA, and the TDS and as such have become "to involved for their own good" and "too involved" under their TOB for simply letting my property, and have become "too involved" in heresay from ex tenants with first considering any input from myself as the landlord paying for their services, They have failed in their "Duty Of Care" to me !!

    (7) As stated before LA have applied the "Duty O Care" rules for an ex-tenant as a reason to support her, yet have failed to support new Spanish tenant in the same way during his own tenancy application process (discrimination) , and they have failed to have any kind of conversation or support regarding me in this matter.

    (8) LA have lost me tenants I could have taken on from the beginning of April as explained previously. Lost rental income.

    (9/10) LA have contradicted themselves in there letters and listened to here-say from tenants which has damaged my reputation as this has been discussed with other agents, ARLA and the TDS and caused considerable stress, anxiety and damaged my reputation and business

    #2
    I think you need legal advice - no one on a free forum is going to plough through that lot in their own time (well, not unless it is 3am and they are bored!)

    Counld you seriously condense it?

    Comment


      #3
      Look at the Code of Practice for Residential Letting Agents that you can download from www.tpos.co.uk
      The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
        I think you need legal advice - no one on a free forum is going to plough through that lot in their own time (well, not unless it is 3am and they are bored!)

        Counld you seriously condense it?
        I agree. That is not a summary; it's more like 'Bleak House'.
        '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


          #5
          If you can't add value, don't reply.....simples

          Comment


            #6
            People see that large block of text and give up, experience here as that such large amounts of text are often going to be difficult to read and pick out the salient points.

            However you did provide a summary of points near the start i.e.

            Originally posted by Trebor01 View Post
            Summary Position.

            (1) Lettings Agent disinstructed themselves from me on the 15/04/2011 based on factually incorrect information,
            (2) Lettings Agent have failed under their own TOB and the expected COB stipulated by the PO.
            (3) Lettings Agent have failed under their "Duty Of Care" to me as the Land Lord, and have with held a non-refundable deposit (£1447.50) from a newly agreed let on the 8th March 2011
            (4) Lettings Agent have then proceeded to try and take credit for a newly agreed let for which they have had no involvement.
            (5) Lettings Agent have failed to provide all documentation held about me under my request under the DPA.
            (6) Lettings Agent have discussed my position with ARLA and made decisions based purely on here-say and failed to support me as the paying Land Lord and their "Duty of Care" towards me.
            (7) Lettings Agent have acted hypocritically according to PO COB and "Duty Of Care" to tenants according to LA position.
            (8) Lettings Agent have cost me 4 weeks marketing and rent (£1795:00) potential from the date they removed my house from market to the date they dis-instructed themselves from me.
            (9) Lettings Agent have contradicted themselves in their own letters to me.
            (10) Lettings Agent have damaged my reputation, and supported defamatory comments being made about me.
            I also post as Mars_Mug when not moderating

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Trebor01 View Post
              If you can't add value, don't reply.....simples
              I was adding value. I was pointing out that your wall of text was extremely off-putting and inappropriately long. The summary alone would have been enough.

              The answer to your question (what can you do about it) is to sue the agent for any financial loss which you can demonstrate he has caused you and for defamation (again, you'll need evidence).
              '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


                #8
                Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                I was adding value. I was pointing out that your wall of text was extremely off-putting and inappropriately long. The summary alone would have been enough.
                Ditto..

                (and I am perfectly capable of 'adding value' as you put it)

                Comment

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