Agency misrepresentation - who is liable?

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    Agency misrepresentation - who is liable?

    Hi,

    My tenancy ended in January and there is still several hundred pounds of deposit outstanding. All throughout this process, contact with the landlady has been made through the agents but at every step of the way the agents have been awkward, varying between rude and unprofessional, and entirely on the landlords side, eg :

    "you should agree to settle. I think the landlord is being very reasonable. "
    "if you want to argue the matter further over a silly amount..."
    etc.

    Whilst being mildly amused by the annoyance of the agency, I have to wonder who they have a duty of care to.

    They hold the deposit as stakeholders and are fully aware that there was not an inventory taken at the start of the tenancy and that the landlady is claiming for items damaged that were not listed on the check-out report.

    On top of that, it looks like they have doctored a letter from the landlady before sending it on to us - removing from it what I believe to be a paragraph that would hole the landlords arguments for deposit retention.

    Do they have a duty of care to be fair to both us as Tenants and to the Landlady their client, or are they allowed to act solely in the "interests" of their client? My feeling is that they are forcing us to settle to cover their own backs and prove that they have done a good job.

    The agent are not members of any profession body, sadly...

    Apart from a small claims action agsinst the landlady, any suggestions are appreciated.

    #2
    The letting agent is the agent of the landlord not the tenant.
    If there was no inventory at the start of the tenancy, then I would advise the landlords agents, in writing, that you require the full deposit returned to you within the next 14 days or you will issue a claim direct against the landlord via the small claims court.

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      #3
      Thanks, that's what I will be doing but I was wondering if the agent acting as a stakeholder in the deposit had a professional duty to be impartial in mediating.

      I have several documented lies and contradictions from them, and received confirmation from the landlady last night that they have indeed doctored her letter that they forwarded onto me. Ultimately it's the landlady that is going to get hit with the stick on this one, but I can't believe that the agent can get away with this without recourse...

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        #4
        If you can prove it, then take the evidence to trading standards!
        I am sure they would be interested.

        Comment


          #5
          and also the landlord surely paid the agents for a service which in most cases includes an inventory - she can possibly make a claim against agents for negligence - but thats not your problem.

          good luck.

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