landlord changing bank accounts

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    landlord changing bank accounts

    So we've been in our flat for about 2 years. No issues or hassle, we've been pretty much golden tenants. November 1st (one day before rent is due) we all got an email from someone we had never heard of or had dealings with saying the account details for the letting agents have changed and the next rent will need to be put into a new account. I immediately contested this as it sounded very dodgy, and replied with "we will change the details as of December" thinking we'd be able to confirm the details or formal written notice would be sent out. Nothing. I completely forgot to check up from my end. So when Decembers payment was due, my standing order went into the same old account.

    I was since told that I had to get the money reversed by my bank and paid into the correct account, which my bank couldn't do. I still had no written confirmation of the change and was told that they couldn't transfer the funds internally from the old account to the new because the old one was in debt.

    We received the formal notice of the company changing account and name on the 6th of December 3 days after I had paid.

    My bank managed to contact their old bank to get the funds reversed but there is no guarantee it will happen, on top of that it will take 20 working days.

    Speaking to the letting agents, they are saying that if the payment isn't reversed that I still owe them money. I cannot afford this because I have paid my rent into their old account. I don't think I did anything wrong other than to not confirm their details in November which i believe is technically their responsibility to give decent notice of account changes by letter (section 48 notice?).

    Basically can anyone give me any advice. I feel like the landlord isnt going to be very reasonable and i need to know my options. I am considering consulting a lawyer but just wondered if anyone had been through similar.

    On top of that we had a letter through saying our deposit scheme had been cancelled due to the change in name of the letting agents. And as we plan on moving some time next year we're not certain on how that will be affected.

    Thanks

    #2
    Write/email landlord (YES!! Landlord) and agent, keep copy) with this info & asking confirmation this is correct before making any payments, stating you are of course willing & able to pay as required but only when confident to the correct destination.

    Don't respond on deposit: If agent/landlord mess up protection that's to your advantage.
    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


      #3
      The second bit makes sense, I'll do this. But 1st bit of your response is unfortunately too late for me. Like I said, the confirmation and written section 48 notice came through on the 6th 3 days after I had paid to their old account. They want me to re-make the payment even though I've paid to their old account.

      Comment


        #4
        I think the problem is théirs not yours. You cannot rely on email notifications to instruct tenants of new details due to the number of scams surrounding this. It is reasonable for at least 2 weeks notice to be given in writing to the property address. Wait and see if the bank can recall the payment. The fact is you have paid, if that account is in debt and the bank has swallowed it, that is not your problem but theirs. You have paid. The rest they will have to wait on. Reasonableness is key. Is your TA silent as to payments? What does it say?
        As the s48 was not notified until 3 days after the rent became due note below.

        48 Notification by landlord of address for service of notices.
        (1)A landlord of premises to which this Part applies shall by notice furnish the tenant with an address in England and Wales at which notices (including notices in proceedings) may be served on him by the tenant.
        (2)Where a landlord of any such premises fails to comply with subsection (1), any rent [F1, service charge or administration charge] otherwise due from the tenant to the landlord shall (subject to subsection (3)) be treated for all purposes as not being due from the tenant to the landlord at any time before the landlord does comply with that subsection.

        Which is interesting because the rent did not become due until you received the s48.

        Comment


          #5
          Thank you Jon, That was my assumption too. I guess it comes down to what is considered sufficient notice of the change. Technically I have paid into the account requested in my TA and thus my responsibilities are in my opinion complete. However the email does throw up a challenge as many property law cases I've seen are considering them as more and more valid. But there is a lot of conjecture here.

          The email sent could have been from anyone, It did not state that it was official notice, it only gave details of the change of management and account details for payment. No address for the new business given, just a mobile number and all of this was from someone I had never had any contact from. No company signature attached and when we looked at the website for the "new company" we recognised no one, the website was in design phase and clearly not fully constructed. It just looked dodgy.

          The fact that there is no new business address and no issuing of the words "Official section 48 notice" suggests to me that the email was not a viable official notice. I'm going to consult a few friends who are lawyers and see what they make of it.

          Thank you for the re-assurance

          Comment


            #6
            Your contract is between you and the landlord, with the agent being a service provider to the landlord.
            You've paid the agent and their getting the money to the landlord is their problem.

            Being in debt and having problems with their bank is the agent's problem, not yours.
            You were right to doubt the email (which is a stupid way to update bank details).

            The s48 notice is academic, though, because it relates to the identity of the landlord, not the agent.
            So unless the agent is actually the landlord, it doesn't have any relevance.
            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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