Negligent Letting Agents/damaged property?

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  • Negligent Letting Agents/damaged property?

    Hi, i rented a property via a letting agent a year ago, throughout the tenants have been late in paying up to 2 months. I finally decided enough was enough in December and issued section 21 and section 8 notices. They left just over a week ago.
    The property is now in a complete state. We had to change locks as only one set of keys was returned. They changed padlocks on the outbuildings but did not leave a key so had to break this. They broke panels on the greenhouse.
    In addition, they requested that they could paint the kitchen in neutral colours via the agent, i agreed on this basis. they infact wallpapered it and in peach.
    They have left mould on the walls and windows, there is evidence of a dog being kept at the property despite this not being allowed in the agreement.

    I am waiting for a "final report" from the agents and what is left of one months deposit after changing locks/cleaning etc but they have been very dismissive.

    Am I allowed to ask/get the following:

    1. The tenants fowarding address (which the agents have received but the agents say they cannot give me this) so i can pursue the outstanding rent via mcol.

    2. Copies of the references etc that they said they completed on the tenants?

    3. Can i pursue the agents for negligence based on the fact that if they had done their inspections they would have seen the wallpaper/dog/damaged worktops and that the walls now appear to need replastering due to mould in the walls.

    Any help appreciated : (

  • #2
    Originally posted by Tigg View Post
    Am I allowed to ask/get the following:

    1. The tenants fowarding address (which the agents have received but the agents say they cannot give me this) so i can pursue the outstanding rent via mcol.

    2. Copies of the references etc that they said they completed on the tenants?

    3. Can i pursue the agents for negligence based on the fact that if they had done their inspections they would have seen the wallpaper/dog/damaged worktops and that the walls now appear to need replastering due to mould in the walls.
    1 and 2. Yes. The Letting Agents are your agents. They cannot plead confidentiality (or 'Data Protection') against you.

    3. Maybe. This depends on evidence. To sue for negligence requires a plaintiff ('claimant') to show:
    a. a duty of care owed by defendant to plaintiff;
    b. a breach of that duty, by act or omission; and
    c. damage flowing from the breach.
    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


    • #3
      Thank you for your response!

      They have claimed due to data protection that they cannot provide the tenants forwarding address. I responded with your response, and also in relation to the reference checks and will see what they come back with.

      I realise that this will be based on me the plaintiff proving damages, but as my agent should they not have had a duty of care to me as their client to ensure they carried out the necessary checks. If they had, then surely they would have been able to spot all these things happening in the house, or in your opinion would this be notoriously difficult to prove?

      Many thanks again!

      Comment


      • #4
        it depends on what the agent was doing for you - eg a managing agent will have a higher duty of care towards you than one that just finds tenants.

        I think the agent would have to be a managing agent to potentially owe you the duties that you want to claim they have breached. Even if the agents are managing agents then you need to establish what their duties were to you, how you allege these were breached and that the damage was caused as a result of the breach.
        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.

        Comment


        • #5
          I spoke to the Informations Commissioners Office who showed me where to find documentation confirming that in best practice they would provide me the information, I sent this to them also as well as previously repeating the earlier responses above. They have now provided a forwarding address and will be sending me copies of references/checks done today.

          They are my managing agents, but i think that attempting to prove as the plaintiff that they have caused me damage through negligence may well be too difficult and not worth the chase.

          I do have another question though.... I spoke to a debt recovery agency who said they would act on a no win no fee basis for the balance of 2 months rent plus the costs paid out from the deposit (for which there was not enough money) to restore the house. Is this legal or should I try the court (mcol) first which may take much longer?

          Many thanks! This forum has been a great help.

          Comment

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