Poor letting agent with mistakes in contract

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Poor letting agent with mistakes in contract

    Hi all

    So im new to all this, Im looking for a bit of advice.
    The story goes, im retting a 4 bed with 4 friends. And the letting agent have been a nightmare from day one.
    examples are as follows:
    Lack of communication
    Not doing their side of agreements with regards to repairs.
    Before we signed with them we agreed that a new sofa and various redecorations were needed and would be done by the time we moved in. This never happened until 4 months after we moved in and myself calling them all the time.
    The last problem that tipped me over the edge was that my bed broke recently, they agreed to replace it but it took them over 2 weeks to replace it, with no offer of any compensation or anything, and when i suggested it they laughed at me, and said that its acceptable that I'm sleeping on the floor.
    This is were it gets interesting

    I got out the contract to check the stipulation and find that the agent has made a mistake in the contract.
    So we pay £300 a month each a total of £1200 per month

    but in the contract it States that: The tenant pays a total of £1200 per quarter (excluding HMR and all bills) this to be paid on the 23rd of each quarter
    This being signed by myself and the agent.
    Now its clear were the mistake is, but would this stand up in a court of law (If it came to that) to get 8 months rent back from them?

    Thanks in advance for any replies

    #2
    You need to write (yes, WRITE! - keep copy) to your LANDLORD (yes, your landlord, whoever is named as landlord on the tenancy agreement), copy agent, listing the problems to be fixed.
    http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_ad...n_private_lets

    Your contract is with your landlord: Yes the agent sortred it out, but he is just landlord's agent.

    Rent is still due, even if there are issues etc.. (life ain;t fair, sorry...)
    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


      #3
      I think youve missed what im asking here.
      Then shorthold tenancy is for 12 months and we are now 10 months in.
      The bit of the story im asking about it the contract.
      we currently pay £1200 a month.
      But the contract states we only need to pay £1200 per quarter

      Im wanting to know, even though its a clear mistake, does this still stand, should i only pay the rent every 3 months?

      Comment


        #4
        Apologies! My bad....

        Is that the EXACT wording of the clause?? & excuse my ignorance but what is HMR??

        Is there no other mention of rent or when rent due etc etc??

        Don't think the "overpaid rent" has to be paid back - maybe clever people will comment.. If you are lucky it will be paid back..

        'phone Shelter 0808 800 4444 & get a 2nd opinion but I think yes, rent is per quarter, silly old agent... In your shoes I would write a careful letter explaining why I am not paying rent as none appears due.. and see what response you get..

        Are you in England?? Is landlord a private individual?? Is he named in tenancy agreement??

        Who is named as "The tenant" - all 4 of you?? And was it one contract all 4 of you signed??
        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


          #5
          {Mod - link removed}

          Here is the first page of the contract, blanked costing and names for obvious reasons.
          Yeah in England, the landlady us private and yes she is

          In the contract all 4 of us are named as "the tenant" and we did all sign

          Thanks for your help

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by scott.nathan View Post
            Im wanting to know, even though its a clear mistake, does this still stand, should i only pay the rent every 3 months?
            The answer lies in the words "clear mistake". I do not think that the agent/landlord would have a lot of difficulty persuading a court that the rent is £1200 a month if that is what was agreed and what has actually been paid for the last ten months. However, there is no reason why you should not take the opportunity to point out what the contract says and use it as a bargaining chip to get things sorted.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by scott.nathan View Post
              Here is the first page of the contract, blanked costing and names for obvious reasons.
              You were too selective in the names you removed, in particular you didn’t remove the name of the agent you are being critical of, and all remaining detail would be enough to identify the specific agreement.

              Please read the forum rules;

              http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...hp?do=vsarules

              In particular;

              10. Naming and shaming individuals or organisations on a public forum can give aggrieved posters a sense of satisfaction, but this can come at a high price. We have had instances of Members being sued for libel for posts they made about certain organisations. UK libel laws are very onerous and organisations are often willing to pursue anyone through the courts to protect their hard won reputations. Even if you are confident about your facts, a libel action must be defended and the legal costs involved are substantial - even if you win. If you lose, you could have to pay your own legal costs, those of the applicant, any damages awarded, and any costs for related parties such as those of LandlordZONE - as a forum Member you have agreed to indemnify LandlordZONE against any and all legal costs resulting from your actions on these forums.

              Ignoring that rule could be quite expensive for you (as it has been in other cases) and the details you left in that screen-grab really have no impact on the replies that you have received, so are best removed.

              If you wish to post another image please feel free to do so, but remove all identifying details next time.
              I also post as Mars_Mug when not moderating

              Comment


                #8
                Sorry to the mod

                Here is the corrected image for anyone wishing to help out

                http://postimg.org/image/gc64h8k7v/

                Thanks LAWCRUNCHER, not the answer i was hoping for, a nice refund was looking smashing. but yes hopefully i will be able to use it as a bargain tool.
                I was a student for 3 years renting with different letting agents and they were all the same, they couldn't care unless they wanted something, now I'm a professional i didn't expect to still be treated like this. Ive had enough

                Comment


                  #9
                  Interesting! Have they used a VERY old form of tenancy (e.g. no need for clause 4 or to mention Section 20 of the HA 1988 since 1997....)??

                  And it perhaps has daft drafting errors - the "commencement date" bit should be immediately after 1st July 2014 IMHO..)

                  - and appears to make tenant liable for HMO licence charges (??) - weird...

                  The deposit is less than the quarterly rent: Were it to have been written for monthly rent but a simple error I would have expected deposit same as or greater than the "quarterly" rent...

                  I repeat my earlier advice - contact Shelter & see what they say. Writing an AST with quarterly rent is entirely legal & legitimate (my agent has tenancies for students with rent paid every 4 months...) : That a landlord/agent decides to offer a low rate is not unlawful. I reckon you've a good chance of not paying more rent, buy lawcruncher is so much more knowledgeable than me I hesitate to mention the thought..
                  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


                    #10
                    Thanks for the reply LODGER

                    I also noticed that, just signed for a place with my other half, with an actual professional letting agent, who wont touch students and comparing the two contacts is like comparing a childs colouring book to a dissertation, its so much more professional, and expensive haha.

                    With the deposit, i think its just a student thing, with my previous houses its been about the same, a couple of hundred to secure it. Again a different ball game with the new place. They want just shy of a grand each before we even get a set of keys!

                    Like I said Im no lawyer or anything, I make films for a living, this is all new territory to me. But surely the law is the law, its a contractual agreement between two parties, signed by both parties, and whatever is agreed in the contract stands?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Tell us what Shelter say
                      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


                        #12
                        But surely the law is the law, its a contractual agreement between two parties, signed by both parties, and whatever is agreed in the contract stands?
                        Life is not that simple! The starting point is that the parties to an agreement mean what they say. However, if it can be shown that the agreement did not reflect what the parties intended at the time they signed then the court can order rectification. That clearly has to be in the interest of justice. Imagine the boot was on the other foot and that you had agreed a rent of £3600 per quarter and the agreement provided it was £3600 per month. I feel confident you would want to argue that the mistake should be rectified!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          The tenant is a consumer and the court should (hopefully at least) take that into account - so the presumption should be that the agent knew what they were doing and the tenants (without being rude) don't.
                          The agent (presumably) produced this agreement - it probably hasn't emerged from detailed discussions between the parties- and the tenant has signed it, clearly without reading it in detail.

                          While I totally agree that this is better as a bargaining chip than a route to recover 2/3rds of the rent; provided that they don't confirm otherwise as part of an agreement, the tenants have 6 years to decide whether to make an attempt to recover the rent.
                          So it works as a pretty effective threat - however, I suspect that all four tenants would have to make the claim together.

                          One thing to bear in mind is that while you are blaming the agent, the landlord is actually responsible for the condition and repairs to the property.
                          The agent may simply be doing (or not doing) what they're told (or they could be managing things entirely on behalf of the landlord).
                          One thing that highlighting this issue will most likely do is cause some conflict between the landlord (from whom you will be potentially making the claim) and the agent (who made the cock up).
                          You should consider the effects of using the bargaining chip carefully (the landlord might just give you notice, for example).
                          When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                          Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                          Comment


                            #14
                            There is a difference between a dispute as to what a clause means and whether the contract correctly reflects the parties' intentions. The former engages the rules of interpretation of documents and is where lax draftmanship may penalise a landlord. On the whole and so far as possible the courts will interpret a document without regard to the negotiations preceding the document because the parties often shift their positions as negoatiations proceed. The latter is covered by rectification which allows mistakes of fact to be corrected. Regard is necessarily had to the negotiations and the court must be satsified that the contract does not reflect what the parties thought they were agreeing at the time the contract was made. Thus, if evidence is produced showing that rent was agreed at £1570 per month and nothing shows that an increase was agreed, if the figure is incorrectly transcribed as £1750 per month the error can be corrected; equally if the sum agreed was £1750 and the amount entered in the contract was £1570. There is no question of the rule favouring grantees over grantors; it exists simply to correct errors.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I agree with the principle outlined ( and have had practical experience of the matter), but that applied to a contract between two businesses.
                              Contracts between businesses and consumers should lean towards the consumer.

                              In this case, the "dispute" would be best used as a bargaining chip, because the tenant's case won't get passed the, very reasonable, question, "what do you think the rent was when you signed the contract".
                              When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                              Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                              Comment

                              Latest Activity

                              Collapse

                              Working...
                              X