Trouble with agent

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  • Trouble with agent

    My property is being “looked after” by a managing agent. He is not (to my knowledge) a member of any association. I agreed to take him on because I knew him from when he worked for my previous managing agents. As I knew him, and had had no problems with him, we didn’t enter into any formal arrangement i.e. no contract – we just shook on it like proper gentlemen! Now things are turning pear-shaped, my rents are being paid later and later and I am actually owed a lot of money at this point.

    I now realise how stupid I’ve been (so I don’t need anyone coming on and telling me so as has happened in the past), but if anyone has any advice I’d be really grateful.

    Can I insist on a contract now and, if so, who should I get to draw it up (I’m based in London NW10)?

    Can I approach my tenants and tell them to stop paying him and to pay me instead?

    Can I approach a reputable managing agent and ask them to take it over (I have two sets of tenants on short term lets)

    Any other helpful suggestions?

    I’m pretty much at the end of my tether at the moment, so any help would be most gratefully received

  • #2
    Is the rent being paid late to you by the agent or because the tenants are paying late ?

    If the tenants are paying late I'm afraid there's not much the agent can do apart from chasing the rent (without it becoming harrassement).
    In that case you could try and evict the tenants for being in arrears.

    If it's the agent who isn't forwarding the money however I am not certain what would be the best approach.
    One thing you can do I suppose is write to the agent telling him you want all the money due to be paid to you within 7 days or you will go to court.

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    • #3
      Thanks Jennifer

      I'm pretty sure the tenants are paying him on time. He's said as much while flannelling me about his bank not processing payments out of his account

      Comment


      • #4
        Tell him to send you a cheque

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        • #5
          Originally posted by spw58
          I now realise how stupid I’ve been (so I don’t need anyone coming on and telling me so as has happened in the past), but if anyone has any advice I’d be really grateful.

          Can I insist on a contract now and, if so, who should I get to draw it up (I’m based in London NW10)?

          Can I approach my tenants and tell them to stop paying him and to pay me instead?

          Can I approach a reputable managing agent and ask them to take it over (I have two sets of tenants on short term lets)
          Not stupid, we all make mistakes
          Yes, you can ask for a contract but what difference would it make?
          Yes, you can ask the tenants to pay you direct, you can also insist on it.
          Yes, you can approach a reputable agent.

          As Jennifer says, ask him for a cheque but after it has cleared (assuming you get one), get rid of the agent. If you don't get a cheque, go to the small claims court.
          Who is holding the deposit, if it is the agent, you need a letter from the tenant instructing him to pass it on to you.

          Comment


          • #6
            The situation is this:
            1. There is nothing in law to say you must have written terms of business, it can be oral but of course leaves matters open to dispute. It is only a requirement if the agent is a member of ARLA/NAEA/RICS who all insist you must have one in writing.
            2. Contact the tenant to see whether they are paying rent on time to the agent. If so you know who's at fault.
            3. As you don't have written terms you can dispense with the agents services forthwith and without notice, nor can they make any additional charges if you do so.
            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


            • #7
              I'm very gratefull to you all for the advice - I feel a bit more confident about taking matters forward now, and I guess I've learned that "friendship" and business don't necessarily mix well

              I'll let you know how it turns out

              Thanks again

              Steve

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