L's Agent is trying to sue T's guarantors- can't be right

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  • L's Agent is trying to sue T's guarantors- can't be right

    hi all,

    another post in this VERY long story!

    Basically i had many problems in the old flat i used to rent. I asked numerous times for repairs to be made and was ignored. The last 2 months rent i used to secure alternative accomodation and moved out. Agent is pursuing me for the £780 (last 2 months rent) although I feel i should be let off as I lived in an unheated, mouse infected, leaky roofed property for 10 months andn early caught hyperthermia!

    I have written to them now 3 times, the first of which said that I am not happy to pay the rent owing due to the problems in the flat, they then called me and said if you pay the rent we will repair the flat. I was not happy with this as I am aware they have to provide adequate heating and repair regardless of rent owed.
    I then found alternative accomodation WITH HEATING! so moved out writing to them again detailing all the problems with the property and all the numerous housing laws they have broken and the breaches of contract and asked them to write off the £780.
    I got no response from them whatsoever.
    I handed the keys back to them as agreed and was told someone would be in touch. No-one has been and i have heard hide nor hair about my deposit which i know is not right.
    I wrote to them again 2 days ago asking for the Landlords details as I wish to pursue them in the small claims court for 3x deposit plus moving costs and rent on an uninhabitable property. (i have pictures of the property).

    SO THIS IS WHERE I AM AT...

    Today my partners dad calls and says he has a summons to court (my partners mum and dad were guarantours). The letting agents without responding to ANY of my correspondance have gone straight to my guarantours with a court summons!!
    I was on here 2 days ago as I wanted to sue them but was told my contract is with the Landlord not the Agents, so isnt this is case now? Are the letting agents allowed to take my guarantours to court? And how are they allowed to do this and not correspond to my letters or even take me to court??

    They are so out of order in my opinion. Any help appreciated.

  • #2
    Guarantors are liable to L if T defaults. Why are you surprised at L's action?
    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).

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    • #3
      its not the landlords name on the court papers, its the agents suing my guarantours. I would at least of assumed the Landlord would do it...

      I am surprised as ive written 3 letters to the agents trying to resolve this and they have not called or written back yet they have sneakily gone and issued a summons to my guarantours.

      I have issued Agents with a s1. of LTA asking for L's address so i can take them to court. If the agents sont write back with this info what do i do? as im aware its a criminal offense.

      Also is the agent allowed to summons my guarantour without first asking me to pay the rent as they have not answered my letters atall. I have asked for it to written off, the last i would of expected was a letter back saying no, but this is a complete surprise. At least i would of known where we were at.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Shelly24 View Post
        its not the landlords name on the court papers, its the agents suing my guarantours. I would at least of assumed the Landlord would do it...

        I am surprised as ive written 3 letters to the agents trying to resolve this and they have not called or written back yet they have sneakily gone and issued a summons to my guarantours.

        I have issued Agents with a s1. of LTA asking for L's address so i can take them to court. If the agents sont write back with this info what do i do? as im aware its a criminal offense.

        Also is the agent allowed to summons my guarantour without first asking me to pay the rent as they have not answered my letters atall. I have asked for it to written off, the last i would of expected was a letter back saying no, but this is a complete surprise. At least i would of known where we were at.

        They can go after whoever they think is the more likely to pay the rent basically.
        My views and posts are based on my opinion and any advice given is just that, advice. If you decide to act on any advice given it is with the full knowledge that I am not perfect and anything I say could be wrong!

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        • #5
          but the agent can take the court? i thought the contract was with the landlord?

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          • #6
            The contract is with the LL. The agents are acting on his behalf, they work for him, not you. You are entitled to know the LLs address, but it may well be in care of the agent, or his accountant, or similar. Why should the LL or agent not go after the rent owing? You signed the contract, stick to it.
            I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

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            • #7
              Originally posted by jta View Post
              The contract is with the LL. The agents are acting on his behalf, they work for him, not you. You are entitled to know the LLs address, but it may well be in care of the agent, or his accountant, or similar. Why should the LL or agent not go after the rent owing? You signed the contract, stick to it.
              All true; but the Agents themselves cannot sue either T or T's guarantors.
              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
                What if the Agent is acting on instructions from the LL Jeffrey?
                I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by jta View Post
                  What if the Agent is acting on instructions from the LL Jeffrey?
                  Still no. A is not party to the AST.
                  I suppose that L might execute a Deed of Assignment, vesting in A the chose in action (the right to sue T or G), but that's implausible.
                  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
                    Fair 'nuff...
                    I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have always understood that if an agent is pursing a tenant through the courts say for possession of a property via s21 or s8, the court papers must be in the name of and signed by the LL or it is invalid.

                      hence I would think the same applies to this situation with guarantors
                      All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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                      • #12
                        I cant understand why the agent would go straight to the court process without even demanding the 2 months rent from the guarantors first. Unless they are trying shock tactics. What a mess.

                        Shelley; even though this attempt by the agency is likely to fail, you should get legal advice. If you have limited means try your nearest Law Centre, or see if you can get help on no win no fee basis.

                        And keep us posted.

                        If they do not give landlords name and address, suggest you contact the police.
                        All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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                        • #13
                          It sounds to me that the agents have got it wrong. If you raise a defence that you owe the agent nothing - then as soon as the agent notices the error they will apply to amend the claim by substituting LL's name for theirs.

                          your options are limited - can you challenge the guarantee? is it valid? see other threads on this.

                          if you are bang to rights on the agreement then only real argument is failure to follow the spirit of the protocol before jumping into proceedings and as a result LL should not get an order for costs - not the easiest of arguments though.
                          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.

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                          • #14
                            Well thank you for confirming something. I actually work for the police myself and this sort of thing would be passed off as a civil matter.

                            jba- as far as you saying 'you signed the contract - stick to it'. I would just like to say that your advice was not helpful in the slightest. You have not been involved in the previous threads i have posted here about the terrible conditons i was living in so please refrain from posting hard nosed replies.


                            The reason I witheld the last 2 months rent was because I was paying full whack to rent a place with a hole in the roof whic leaked through the ceiling on rainy days, no heating, windows which did not even shut properly let alone lock and a huge mouse infestation. These things were not apparent when i first signed up for the property and it has been very very stressful to try and get anything done about it.
                            I paid my rent for 8 months and from very early on told the Agents about the problems, nothing was done after 4 phone calls so i decided to withold rent. I actually moved out of the flat to live with a friend I was so cold, when you are sat in bed and can see your breathe its a serious matter. If i were a pensioner im sure i would be very ill.
                            I told the agents i was happy to stay if the work is done, i would then pay my rent, they said no, you pay the rent THEN we will fix the flat. I cam on here any many people told me that isnt on so i stood my ground and ended up having to move out and find a different flat.
                            I have never been rude or abrubt with them, ive written 3 letters and go 0 replies.
                            I am very annoyed they went direct to my guarantours without writing to me to try and resolve my complaints.

                            In a nutshell then... the agents cannot sue my guarantour? There is no mention of a landlords name on there whatsoever.
                            Did the agents not have a protocol to follow in reference to writing to me first? There was no written bill for rent or anything. I asked for a complaint to be looked into and it was ignored.
                            Do i carry on with my own court proceedings against the LL now for my deposit or do I just counterclaim this court claim? This one is in the name of the Agents so should I just carry on with my claim as that is suing the LL.

                            I do feel I should be let off the 2 months rent because of the dreadful conditions and the lack of repair and failure to provide basic needs such as heating. I do not feel I am being unreasonable.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Shelly24 View Post

                              I do feel I should be let off the 2 months rent because of the dreadful conditions and the lack of repair and failure to provide basic needs such as heating. I do not feel I am being unreasonable.
                              If the LL has underperformed and not given you quiet enjoyment then you would be entitled to negotiate compensation at a rate appropriate for your loss. Also there may be the issue of notification of the deposit not being correct. All this is complicated by you also being accountable to your guarantors. As I see it you have 3 options, of which you can pick or mix:

                              1) Go with the flow regarding the court summons and see where it takes you, and once they have discovered they got it wrong, wait and see if they try again. Hopefully it may go away.

                              2) Write a letter before legal action asking for compensation and on what basis you arrive at that sum, threatening that if they do not accept this in writing by x date you will add the cost of your legal fees to any future settlement

                              3) Get legal advice
                              All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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                              You can search the forums here:

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