Agent has paid me too much

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    Agent has paid me too much

    I am a landlord and use a fully managed service from my agent so basically I just get the rent minus their fee in my account each month. Last month I paid for some work to be done so the amount that was transfered was less than the full amount. This month they have paid the exact same amount in and then a couple of days later they paid my usual full amount again!

    I'm guessing there has been some administrational error where they have paid me last month's rent twice for some reason. This doesn't really surprise me as they have proven to be fairly incompetent in past. Also I did not get a statement last month, although I did for this month (which just mentioned the second of the two payments I have received).

    My question is should I say something to them? I haven't been particularly happy with their service so I am kind of begrudged to go out of my way to give them £440 back. Are they likely to notice their mistake and ask for their money back? I am usually an honest person but the devil on my shoulder is telling me I'd be a mug

    Many thanks in advance.

    Take them out for lunch:

    They'll be so surprised at the mere invite...

    Have a chat, find out what they think, as them (after pudding before coffee...) if they are happy with their admin systems... then tell 'em what they did...
    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...


      Ha ha... Good thought but I'd rather keep it to be honest!


        You can't wrap this up in any other way... You're in the know, and failing to return that which does not belong to you.

        If your not happy with their service then find a new agent, don't indirectly steal their money.
        I can take no responsibility for the use of any free comments given, any actions taken are the sole decision of the individual in question after consideration of my free comments.

        That also means I cannot share in any profits from any decisions made!


          If the agent did the same to you there would be uproar on here with plenty of advice on how to go about obtaining your money back.

          But because its an agency then somehow ethics can be warped into 'oh well, it's their own fault'.
          I can take no responsibility for the use of any free comments given, any actions taken are the sole decision of the individual in question after consideration of my free comments.

          That also means I cannot share in any profits from any decisions made!


            Thanks for the reply Phlash. I will be looking for a new agent but I can't change until the current contract runs out. I here what you're saying, decency will prevail and I probably will end up saying something, but...

            Is it stealing? I'm pretty sure I haven't done anything illegal. You're right to say there would be an uproar if it was the other way round. However in that scenario presumably the person would have, unsuccessfully, requested their money back before coming on here for advice. That's a little different from a multi-million pound company sticking £440 in someone's account without even realising. I have not taken anything nor am I withholding anything from anyone. If you thought you had been undercharged on your phone bill would you ring them up to give them their money?

            Anyway, like I say, I probably will take your advice but I still don't see it as black and white as you do. Maybe I'm just not as honest as I thought!



              You have taken something. If you found £440 in the street and kept it, it would still be theft. If your tenant paid you twice by mistake for the same month, or forgot to cancel their standing order when the tenancy ended, you would return the excess, would you not? To keep it would be dishonest. It's the same thing.
              '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


                My agent example was more along the lines of:

                Agent forgets to pay landlord. Landlord doesn't notice. Agent realises later but thinks oh well, they haven't noticed so why should I bother.

                I'm saying there would be uproar at that attitude from an agent, yet it is the vice versa example of what's happened with you.

                If the landlord's system isn't good enough to spot that he hasn't been paid then its his fault. Landlords are filthy rich asset greedy animals anyway so they won't miss a months rent.

                I would think the above paragraph would seriously offend many, yet switch the scenario around along with the sweeping generalist view and it becomes more acceptable?

                It's very bizarre logic.

                I've had plenty of tenants pay our agency twice for one month, I don't think silly fools, screw them they should have paid more attention, I'll just keep it till they ask for it back.

                Lastly, if the bank credits your account by mistake it does not make it your money and they will demand it back. Even if you spend it and claim ignorance. It's no difference in this scenario.

                That's why on a witness stand you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The three truth statements are used to rule out dubious lines being drawn. Your conclusion equates to standing in a witness box and swearing to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. " I don't steal it, I haven't robbed anybody".

                Somewhere there, you're missing the whole truth.
                I can take no responsibility for the use of any free comments given, any actions taken are the sole decision of the individual in question after consideration of my free comments.

                That also means I cannot share in any profits from any decisions made!


                  Mark, if your agent sends you £440 too much and you don't find the situation "as black and white" as suggested, I can image one of 2 things: either you have a terrible relation with your agent, and you should get rid of him ASAP, or I would not want to be your agent, or your tenant...


                    I am no expert on the criminal law, but keeping the overpayment would seem to be theft as section 3(1) of the Theft Act 1968 provides that: "Any assumption by a person of the rights of an owner amounts to an appropriation, and this includes, where he has come by the property (innocently or not) without stealing it, any later assumption of a right to it by keeping or dealing with it as owner."


                      I think that's just the definition of 'appropriation' to use when interpreting the definition of theft:
                      "(1)A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it; and “thief” and “steal” shall be construed accordingly."


                        I stand corrected.


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