Who is my tenancy agreement with?

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    Who is my tenancy agreement with?

    I have been given (in January '11) an AST by a 'managing agent' for the flat I live in.

    The AST has the details of the managing agent as being my landlord. No details of any other contact are provided.

    I am aware that the flat is actually owned by a ltd company that employs the services of the managing agent - there of no details of this company on my AST (lets call them 'sellyrhouse fast.com).

    I'm having problems with disrepair at the flat, and have spoken to the managing agent. He replied that the owner of the property had employed him as a managing agent, but he hadn't actually been paid any money for anything so far, and therefore is not willing to start spending money on doing repairs.

    The managing agent said that the owner is overseas and that he is getting quite upset with him, and is considering withdrawing from any involvement with the property.

    This leaves me in a bit of a quandry. Although my AST states that my landlord is this 'managing agent' - I get the feeling he is about to say it's nothing to do with him and withdraw from any involvement with the owner.... Where does this leave me?

    Is my AST with the 'Management Co' who are detailed on the AST, or is it with the actual owner of the building, even though they are not mentioned on the AST?

    I don't see how I could take any action against the management co if they are saying that the property is no longer anything to do with them?

    Hopefully someone can shed some light for me?

    Many Thanks in advance.

    #2
    Are you paying rent?
    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Trawler View Post
      I have been given (in January '11) an AST by a 'managing agent' for the flat I live in.

      The AST has the details of the managing agent as being my landlord. No details of any other contact are provided.

      I am aware that the flat is actually owned by a ltd company that employs the services of the managing agent - there of no details of this company on my AST (lets call them 'sellyrhouse fast.com)...

      Is my AST with the 'Management Co' who are detailed on the AST, or is it with the actual owner of the building, even though they are not mentioned on the AST?

      I don't see how I could take any action against the management co if they are saying that the property is no longer anything to do with them?
      Yes. The Agent (A) is in law agent of an undisclosed principal. As A holds himself out as L, he is estopped from denying this. The result is that ALL obligations of L rest on A- more fool him.
      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


        #4
        Agreed. If the agent holds himself out as the landlord then he takes on all the landlord's responsibilities.

        Comment


          #5
          This type of agent has got to be one I would definitely avoid if I had the choice.
          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.

          Comment


            #6
            Agree with Paul_f

            I've seen a case (tied up with a "Guaranteed rent" deal for LL) where the LL contracted with the agent to lease the property to the agent(with rights to sublet)- presumably common law contract (?) : The agent then writes a "normal" AST between Agent & tenant.

            (eg see ...
            http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...802#post285802
            )

            Dodgy IMHO, but I think in theory legal (but I'm legally unqualified..)????

            Guess trawler could ask the agent if they are leasing the property off someone else??
            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


              #7
              Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
              Agree with Paul_f

              I've seen a case (tied up with a "Guaranteed rent" deal for LL) where the LL contracted with the agent to lease the property to the agent(with rights to sublet)- presumably common law contract (?) : The agent then writes a "normal" AST between Agent & tenant.

              (eg see ...
              http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...802#post285802
              )

              Dodgy IMHO, but I think in theory legal (but I'm legally unqualified..)????

              Guess trawler could ask the agent if they are leasing the property off someone else??
              That arrangement is different. It's a 'simple' lease to the agent with a right to sublet it. The agent is then the landlord of the tenant (presumably so they can get the tenant out asap if they fail to pay rent without having to go to the LL for permission or rely on them taking the T to court).

              It would indeed be a common law tenancy between LL and A because the agent would not be an individual occupying the property as their principal home, one of the conditions for the existence of an AST.

              OP - managing agent sounds foolish and potentially a bad target to pursue for a disrepair claim. It would be better for you to get the details of the real LL out of him. If he's abroad you may need to serve out of the jurisdiction, in which case I would encourage getting a solicitor, but you shouldn't have any problems persuading a court that England and Wales is the appropriate forum (the question they will ask before they permit you to serve out) as the property is located here.
              Disclaimer:

              The above represents my own opinion, derived from personal knowledge and should not be relied upon as definitive or accurate advice. It is offered free of charge and may contain errors or omissions or be an inaccurate opinion of the law. I accept no liability for any loss or damage suffered as a result of relying on the above.

              Comment


                #8
                I disagree with bhaal that you should bring a claim for damages for disrepair against the property owner who resides abroad. You would need to spend money on a solicitor (because disrepair claims over £1,000 are not dealt with in the small claims track), legal proceedings are very lengthy, and moreover I presume that your objective is to get the repairs done.

                *If* the disrepair falls under s.11 Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 (i.e. LL's statutory repairing obligations, see this link) there are a couple of things you can do; report the disrepair to the Environmental Health Officer at the local council, who can enforce LL's repairing obligations, or follow a (strict) procedure for arranging for the repairs to be carried out yourself, and deduct the cost from the rent (see this link).

                Note that it is essential to keep careful records of all letters sent to the agent-acting-as-landlord during this procedure, and best to obtain a free certificate of posting for each letter.

                Also note that, whatever you do, the agent may in turn decide to serve notice and apply for possession at the end of the fixed term.

                More info on disrepair on the Shelter website.
                http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_ad...n_private_lets

                Comment


                  #9
                  You could always report it to your environmental health department at the local council and let them deal with it. You are able to with hold payment of rent until such time as the repairs are carried out. This doesn't mean that you don't have to pay the rent just that it will get paid as soon as the repairs are completed.

                  Is there a clause in your AST that gives you an address for service under section 48? If not then I would put in writing to the letting agent that you want the landlords name and address to comply with section 48 and with hold the rent until you get it.

                  If a landlord doesn't comply, the rent or any service charge cannot be legally demanded until they do give an address to the tenant.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by QuaLETy View Post
                    You are able to with hold payment of rent until such time as the repairs are carried out.
                    No, the T cannot simply withhold rent pending repairs. He must follow the procedure I linked to in post #8.

                    Is there a clause in your AST that gives you an address for service under section 48? If not then I would put in writing to the letting agent that you want the landlords name and address to comply with section 48 and with hold the rent until you get it.
                    The entitlement to know the LL's name and address is in s.1 Landlord & Tenant Act 1985. If the agent fails to comply, it does not entitle T to withhold rent.
                    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1985/70/section/1

                    S.48 Landlord & Tenant Act 1987 provides that the T must be given an address for serving notices in England/Wales. This need not be the address of the landlord. Rent is not due until such time as the T is provided with the address, after which any arrears immediately fall due.
                    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1987/31/section/48

                    Comment

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