Letting agent tenant find problems

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    Letting agent tenant find problems

    Hi All.

    I used a local agent on a tenant find basis, with them doing all the 'checks'. They found me a single father with 3 children who would be entitled to full housing benefit, covering the rent. The agent filled out his LHA application with him, and i agreed on the basis that all checks were made.

    After 2 months the rent from the council had not been received. Basically it conspires that as he is now only having his children at weekends, and is not a named beneficiary on their child benefit he is classed as a 'single occupier'. This means he is entitled to £90.60 per week, and the rent is £135. He is roughly £45 short per week and he does not work.

    The agent charged me 3 weeks rent plus VAT for the tenant find and i was livid that not only had i been made to wait 2 months for rent, that they failed to check the tenant was fully suitable.

    Do i have a sound basis for going back to the agent to reclaim some or all of the fee paid? Potentially if my tenant can not get some sort of discretionary rental increase i will be losing £45 a week AND finding a new tenant once the contract ends.

    All advise appreciated.

    This is a question that has been asked before - hence no replies.

    It depends on what your terms of business is with the agent (it should be in wiriting but doesn't have to be) and what checks they say they will carry out. Detail can be very sketchy which means they can be pretty poor at times and get away with it. Doesn't a person claiming LHA immediately ring alarm bells to warrant a Guarantor at the very least? Well a good agent will ensure this is in place. LHA takes time to set up and therefore you normally need to have about 2 months rent in place before you agree to any LHA claimant as a tenant. If they haven't got that sort of money suggest they borrow it or turn them down. I don't suppose you instructed a Regulated Agent because you would be able to make a complaint against a member agent of a trade association if that were the case, or if they were memebrs of a redress scheme such as the Property Ombudsman. Live & learn I'm afraid.
    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.


      Thanks for the reply.. I guess i will have to! I have a guarantor, but it is the fact that they seem to have shoved someone in to get a nice fee!


        If it were me (not looking for business as i dont deal with residential!) but I, for the continued working relationship with LL would look to either remove fee completely or come to some sort of arrangement that was amicable.
        [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]


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