Letting agent passing the buck

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  • Letting agent passing the buck

    As a new landlord due to being unable to sell my residentially mortgaged home, I asked an agent on what was required and instructed said agent to find me a suitable tenant.
    One was put forward, along with a guarantor, which they checked through their appointed reference agency, sent the Deed of g'tor and the tenant a contract.

    After several months of late payments etc I managed to get copies of the references and the tenant's contract from the agents.
    She was to have signed a S/O form, but didn't, the reference said the g'tor was unsuitable due to CCJ of £5k+ and not earning enough. The tenant is a nightmare, causing problems for the neigbours and me, and it turns out they should have told me I needed permission from the mortgage company and the other co-signatures on the mortgage to rent the house out.
    They have back heeled the problem, and don't want to know claiming I was okay with the tenant, and it's nothing to do with them.
    Anyadvice?

  • #2
    Originally posted by SuefromCrewe View Post
    As a new landlord due to being unable to sell my residentially mortgaged home, I asked an agent on what was required and instructed said agent to find me a suitable tenant.
    One was put forward, along with a guarantor, which they checked through their appointed reference agency, sent the Deed of g'tor and the tenant a contract.

    After several months of late payments etc I managed to get copies of the references and the tenant's contract from the agents.
    She was to have signed a S/O form, but didn't, the reference said the g'tor was unsuitable due to CCJ of £5k+ and not earning enough.
    I agree that this is a problem ad you may have gronds to sue for any provable consequential loss. You would, of course, have to mitigate any such loss by evicting the tenant at the earliest possibility.

    it turns out they should have told me I needed permission from the mortgage company and the other co-signatures on the mortgage to rent the house out.
    This depends on what the agreement between yourself and the agent specified. Whilst I agree it would be the morally right thing to do, it is normal for you to pay an agent to let the property and possibly manage the property. I suspect landlord education doesn't feature heavily on the agency agreement

    Is the tenant in breach of their contract in any way?
    When does the tenants contract come to an end?
    They have back heeled the problem, and don't want to know claiming I was okay with the tenant, and it's nothing to do with them.
    Did you agree to the tenant being allowed to rent the property? Did you ask to see the references before accepting the tenant?

    Comment


    • #3
      Told agent I didn't know what I had to do and asked for all info needed. Told I had to have landlord insurance, gas and electric safety checks, notify utilities of change of user, get an inventory done, suitable decoration to appeal to majority of viewers (although recently decorated for sale),what to leave in, take out etc. They would show people around so I would not have to be there, their people would liaise with the referal agency and report back as the reports were confidential, arrange the contracts, moving dates, final readings and notify Council, TV licencing, Utilities etc at the relevant times.
      I was basically told that they would do everything required, and ask all the relevant questions so I had nothing to worry about. Quote 'We have been doing this for years, we know what has to be done, so don't worry as it will all be in hand'.

      Breaches of contract - not signed the S/O, which I wouldn't know as Agent was meant to be dealing with it.
      Not paying rent on time EVER!
      Causing distress to neighbours - noise, chucking used nappies onto their roof, screaming kids and/at kids for hours at a time, littering, revving engines more than needed.
      Smoking in property against specific condition tht non-smoker tenant only, and stubbing ends out on UPVC window sills.
      Identity theft - Mine, within the first month of moving in and ordered stuff out of a catalogue in my name to get over £800 of goods by fraud. Police took some of them away so she now has a Caution AKA Criminal Record Lite.
      Causing or allowing damage to be caused to the property - kids loosened pipe to garden tap causing water leak in kitchen. Allowed kids to use gas fire as 'Post Box' and they shoved papers down the back, which was spotted on recent gas safety check. Fire capped off, engineer due to check if damaged.
      House and gardens to be kept in good repair and clean - carpet was soaking on visit, covered in stains and 'only fit for ripping up and binning' per workmen whao have been. Couldn't go round rest of house but what they saw was dirty, shabby and will need redoing throughout the bits they saw.
      The contract is for 12 months and is due to run out in March 2012. Who knows what thehouse will be like then.

      Comment


      • #4
        Unfortunately, you do not have many options. Is there any rent unpaid at present? Have you served a section 21(1)(b) notice?

        Unless the rent gets to 2 months worth unpaid (AND the tenancy agreement says you can use section 8, ground 8) then you have no real way of evicting them through the courts until after the end of the contract.

        There is another option that one of our regulars will suggest - that is offering a payment in exchange for vacating - but you have to be very careful and you have to understand that the tenant may say no, so the payment would have to be big enough to make it worth her while.

        This is obviously going to cause you a financial loss, and once you know ow big that loss is then you may be able to put together a claim against the agent for consequential loss. Could you answer the last question in my previous reply.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by SuefromCrewe View Post
          it turns out they should have told me I needed permission from the mortgage company and the other co-signatures on the mortgage to rent the house out.
          Have you now obtained consent to let from your mortgage provider?

          Comment


          • #6
            I agreed to the tenant renting as they told me they had been given a good reference.
            They did not mention that the g'tor they had been given by her had been found unsuitable by the reference agency.
            I was not aware at the time they had witheld what would have been to me an essential piece of information on which to base my decision whether to rent to her or not.
            I saw the references on both months down the line, when they told me that I had given her the OK despite it. AS IF! They tried to imply that because they had told me she was on Housing Benefit, I had sanctioned her moving in without a g'tor.
            I didn't see the references because they said they were confidentitial, but in order. I only got to see them months later becasue I played Merry Heck with them over the phone and someone scanned them and e-mailed them down to me, which is when I found out.

            I haven't yet been in touch with the mortgage provider, as when I told the Agent I hadn't done so, and sent them a copy of the letter I was going to give to the mortgage people to explain what had happened, and why, and ask for their help and permission after the event, they told me that as it was the weekend they would send a copy to their lawyers on the Monday to look over it, and get back to me with what should be done.

            That was in August, and they still haven't given me a reply, but continue to take the management fees off me. Actually, the rent - when it arrives - is paid into their account, they take their cut and send me the rest.

            I am going into the bank tomorrow with all the paperwork, and ask if they have had anything from the Agents, who were meant to be looking into it for me, and let them chase them up.
            There must be some breach of their Code of Practice somewhere in all of this.

            They still don't have the signatures from the other mortgagee giving their agreement to rent, or permission for it to be rented to this particular lodger on the contract.

            On top of which - because the tenant has been such a pain to the neighbours with her antics, and this is (was) a very quiet neighbourhood I have been invited to go to the local Press office with the same paperwork on Wednesday for an interview about the agent, the tenant and the problems.
            As long as I stick totally to the truth, and have the paperwork etc to back it up, will I be okay?

            Ideally what I would like is for them to admit there was 'an oversight' (good cop out for them), that she should not have been placed there as I was not in a position to have permitted the rental, for them to refund the management fees and other expenses, make good the damage and pay for her to get out, or for her to be evicted.
            If all, or any of that happens of their own volition, I will buy a ticket for the next Euro Lottery as I'm sure to have picked the winner.

            Comment


            • #7
              Not much more to add, other than I would decline the press invitation. You may tell the truth, they may print the truth, but it may not sound like what you said.

              Comment


              • #8
                Turns out that we have legal cover on our Insurance for the house we are in, and they are checking to see if we are covered for legal problems in general, or just if it affects this house.
                Maybe that might be a great deal of help, especially as I've done a load of the legwork already.
                I've got to check the insurance on the rented house too, as I did take out cover, but the paperwork went into the storage unit while we have the builders in incase it got misplaced in the upheaval of having all rooms being worked on at once.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Snorkerz - please advise

                  Hello Snorkerz,
                  I most sincerely apologise if I have infringed any forum rules. I did check first, but can't see anything about what to do.

                  I wanted to send a PM, but I need 15 posts before I can, and rather than dump posts at random I thought this might be easiest.
                  You may already have a PM here regarding this from someone on another forum you post advice on, who gave me your user name on here.

                  Again, I do apologise if I have broken the rules. If this needs to be deleted, and it counts as a 'Strick One', I accept that I was out of order.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SuefromCrewe View Post
                    I most sincerely apologise if I have infringed any forum rules. I did check first, but can't see anything about what to do.
                    I don't think anyone's going to shoot you!

                    However, the only thing I would say is that you're almost always better off posting queries publically rather than PM'ing individuals (even if you're hoping a particular individual will respond).

                    Two reasons - first, it doesn't put any onus on the person to respond (after all, they are giving advice freely and may be too busy); secondly, because the responses are then visible to others who may be in a similar situation to you; and thirdly, because the responses are visible to all and sundry, in case you get a duff answer there's a very good chance that someone else will chime in and correct it before you act upon bad advice. (No disrespect intended to Snorkerz, who is certainly very clued up... this is just a general principle, and the reason forums work well!)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks for the warning. It does make a lot of sense, as you say Snorkerz is very clued up, but someone else might have another slant on the problem.
                      It is only that IF (and a big IF) he is the same person who PM'd me on another website offering to give me some information from his experiences, then I wanted him to know that I was sorry I didn't get back at the time as I did't go onto that forum for a few weeks, and I could still do with the help.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Sue. Snorkerz regularly posts links to advice pages, just search his posts and you will probably find what you need.
                        I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Unless Sue would like to share or better still post a link to the other Forum detailing her problem.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You keep this conversation up until you reach 15, then PM him...

                            ML
                            Refer Mad Regulators to Arkell vs Pressdram.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Sue, I haven't had any PMs, and as Ericthelobster says, the rest of the forum may be able to help too. I have learned the vast majority of what I have learned from these guys.

                              Put some basic details on the forum, and if there is anything else that is essential, we will ask. That way, you don't give away more than you have to!

                              Comment

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