Dodgy letting agent - want to get rid of them and tenant

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    Dodgy letting agent - want to get rid of them and tenant

    First time on here! I rent out a flat using a management agent. For the last year I have had to chase my rent from them every month and when I contacted the tenant, turns out she has paid him upfront so he has the money but is witholding it saying he has bank problems every month.

    Anyway, I want rid of both the agent and the tenant (who is OK but have a feeling will struggle to get money back from agent and afford the rent every month).

    The contract with the agent states 2 month notice and the tenancy agreement ended on 11th December 2012 so I think if I serve an S21 4A periodic notice to the tenant tomorrow requiring possession on 12th March 2013 I am abiding by the rules? And if I just serve a normal notice letter to the agent, will that do? Can anyone advise?

    I am worried also about not getting my rent from either of them - how can I enforce that? And as long as I give the tenant 24 hours notice, I should be able to get the new agent in to get viewings - is that right?

    Grateful for any advice!

    Thanks

    #2
    Your notice to the tenant should expire with the exact wording "after 11th March 2013".

    The law considers any rent paid by the tenant to your agent to have been paid, full stop. You can neither expect nor make the tenant pay twice. I presume the deposit (if any) was protected within 30 days of the start of the tenancy AND that you can prove all the deposit information that the law requires has been given to the tenant?

    Your tenant has no obligation to allow you or your agent in for viewings unless your tenancy agreement specifically states you can - and even then you may have to get a court order in order to enforce that right. Even if you could enforce it, I wouldn't expect the current tenants to be very co-operative with regard to cleanliness or tidyness - would you if you were being thrown out?

    WRT the agent, your agreement with them will specify how you end the agreement - many such agreements leave you lible to pay their %age for as long as the tenant remains.

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      #3
      If tenant has paid rent to agent, I'm afraid that it is as if he had paid it to you, so you are liable for any refund.

      Considering agent's conduct you outline I would sack him with immediate effect and tell him that if he does not transfer to you all the rent he has received on your behalf within 7 days you will start legal proceedings.

      Assuming any deposit is correctly protected, yes serve notice to tenant.
      For safety I would also add a letter tell the tenant to pay further rent directly to you and that as agent no longer works for you any rent paid to him won't be deemed paid and he will have to recover it from agent himself.

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        #4
        First you must read the terms and conditons of the agreement you have with the agent to see what cancellation fees (if any) are stipulated.

        You can issue a Section 21 notice to the tenant, but must ensure the deposit has been protected and the prescribed information has been provided to the tenant. Failure to do this means S21 will be invalid until the full deposit value has been returned to the tenant.

        You cannot enforce viewings on the tenant, and TBH, as the S21 does not end the tenancy, how can you even start marketing as the tenant does not have to leave when the notice expires. If you start viewings, and then have to resort to a possibly lengthy eviction route through the courts, it could be a a long while before your property will be vacant to let to anyone else anyway. Besides, do you want your disgruntled and soon to be ex-tenant putting anyone else off renting from you? They have no obligation to keep the place tidy, present it well etc - dirty dishes in the sink and last night's curry smell is not a good way to show your property at its best! They can also say what they like to people about the horrible property they live in, noisy neighbours, landlord is a nightmare etc - anything to get back at you!

        My advice would be to serve the notice - I assume you know how to prepare and issue it correctly, with proof of service to the tenant, then wait and see if they go willingly. If they don't you have no way to tell when property will be vacant or what state it will be returned to you in to relet anyway!

        Comment


          #5
          Are you saying the agent is still holding money paid upfront, if the answer is yes, did you agree this check terms, particularly termination of agency.

          Have you considered suing agent assuming you did not agree to this in small print !

          Not sure if the tenant on facts has done anything wrong.

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            #6
            Forgot to add from experience of bad high street agents I no longer use them, I use an online agent for finding tenants only.

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