Letting agents fail to comply with instructions

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    Letting agents fail to comply with instructions

    Hi wondering if anyone can help/advise me.

    I have recently split up with my ex and she has had to rent out (short term) the house we had bought as she cannot keep up with the mortgage payments.

    She has gone through a letting agency and for some reason they have let someone move into the house before any money (neither rent or a deposit) has been paid by the tenants.

    The people have now been in the house 5 weeks and no money has changed hands. After a week the letting agent informed them that if no money had been paid by the end of the following week they would be kicked out.

    Nothing was paid so my ex (god knows why she had to get involved, isn't this the letting agents responsibility) and the letting agent went to the house and were greeted with death threats. Now since then the letting agent has promised to get them out and and the tenants have promised payment and neither has happened!

    Not only has no payment been made, but also, in what was a quiet estate, since they have moved in 3 of the neighbours houses have been broken into, and one who dared to confront them found his car smashed up the day after!

    She has contacted citizens advice and been advised she would need to go to court to resolve this. But there are 2 problems with this

    1) She does not have the money to take them to court, there must be some way round this as just because she doesn't have the money to take them to court doesn't mean they can stay in the house as long as they want!!

    2) She currently cannot afford to pay the mortgage so a long court case is not feasible.

    Can anyone please advise what they believe the next course of action should be?

    Surely the letting agency should take some responsibility.

    Any help or advise would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks.

    The letting agent is in serious trouble here and you should write to them immediately stating they have not acted in accordance with your ex's instructions and you & your ex. will expect them to pay the following:-
    1. All the rent that you have lost.
    2. The cost of rectifying any damages that occur at the property.
    3. All her/your legal costs, including the cost of eviction.
    4. All other relevant expenses.

    It might be worth approaching one of the no win - no fee solicitors, to assist you, but be careful, you need someone who is a specialist in this field. Susbstatial damages might be awarded too you, but you don't want a solicitor raking off a substantial amount.

    Taking the agent to court is not expensive if you do it yourself, and you can get all the information from www.courtservice.gov.uk

    You might also make a complaint to ARLA/NAEA/RICS if members of any.

    You could also approach your local Trading Standards Officer too as there are likely to be other issues that need taking up here.

    The other matter is that you probably didn't obtain permission from the lender to let, and if you get into arrears both you and your ex will be expected to pay the lender's costs of repossession. You should tell them immediately what has happened anyway otherwise you will be in deeper do-do.
    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.


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