We all make mistakes in this lettings business! help needed please.

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    We all make mistakes in this lettings business! help needed please.

    Checked some tenants into a newbuild property and forgot to collect their first months rent and deposit.
    the following day i had numerous phone calls complaining about the property and its "lack of facilities" such as mirrors, tv aerial, and other things (all of which were promised and are in hand to be done, but they didnt help by asking to move in a week early. I pointed out to them that they did view this and several other properties and this was the one they chose. I have explained that new builds often do not come with phone service or tv aerial in the roof and on this property the developer didnt even provide mirrors in the bathrooms! they are now complaining (as is often the case with newbuilds) that some furniture wont fit through the doors, etc etc.

    They came in and said "what will it cost to get us out of this tenancy", i calmed them down and suggested that if they were that unhappy rather than enforce the full term of the tenancy agreement which they signed, they could move out with just paying 6 weeks rent, problem is, we have had no rent at all yet!! where do we stand?

    Feel like an idiot, i have never EVER forgotten to take someones payment before and this is worrying me silly now!

    Where do we stand legally? they have signed the AST and have moved in but have so far paid nothing. Can anyone give some advice on this? Im pretty concerned.

    #2
    They have agreed to rent your property at the rent specified and have signed an AST, and taken possession. They owe you rent. If they do not pay, you could claim against them in court or money claim online.

    The worst case scenario is if the AST they signed says they are paying the first months rent and deposit at the time of signing, who's to say that they could insist they paid in cash? Probably not likely unless they are hardened criminals.

    If you haven't delivered on what you promised, then they would be entitled to compensation for loss of TV or whatever (that you could agree between you) or you would have breached Trades Descriptions Act. It depends on what was promised and when you said you would deliver.

    I guess you can admit you made a mistake and ask for the six weeks rent you have agreed now, as the money is due to you. (If they are reluctant, you could indicate you will need to claim it through the court which will give them a County Court Judgement, which could stop them from getting a new tenancy at a later date.)

    Rent is due.
    All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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      #3
      To my mind, these are entirely separate matters:

      a) T didn't pay what they should have, and
      b) T not happy.

      The first is of course partially your fault for "forgetting to ask", but I don't know how that would be dealt with in law --- if I were to go into a shop and the shopkeeper "forgot to ask" me to pay for a certain item, would that mean he was at fault, or me? I would imagine it would be my responsibility to pay, whether the shopkeeper asks or not.

      Hopefully you have not given T a receipt for the sum which they forgot to pay, and hopefully you normally do give receipts. Therefore you have a pretty strong case --- it would be hard for them to assert that they have paid if they have no receipt.

      The second problem (tenants not happy) is not really your problem, providing that you are not failing to provide something that you promised to provide --- i.e. as long as you didn't promise to have these things (tv aerial etc) fitted when T moved in. Things like the furniture not fitting through the door is hardly your fault either. They should have measured before signing!!

      I would chase the deposit and first months rent separately and make sure you get that before letting them out of the agreement. Once you have that safely stowed away, then you can discuss the next step. Frankly I would be inclined to hold them to the six month agreement --- after all, they signed it, and they would hardly accept it if it was you that wanted to pull out of the agreement now.

      Peter

      Comment


        #4
        thank you for your responses, i agree.
        of course, we do give receipts and this is the first time this has happened. they have signed a tenancy and i showed them a number of properties before they viewed and decided on what they wanted. We are in cheltenham which has been affected by the flooding and we've been without water for a week and i clearly explained that i had been unable to clean the property because of this. they complained there was no lawnmower so ive offered our gardener to pop round whenever it needs cleaning. there were no curtains/blinds fitted becuase they moved in one week before the contractor was due to come fit them as their container from abroad arrived early! Their main gripe has been not been able to get BT phone service (again beyond our control) and becuase they run online business and have been unable to get online this has been their biggest complaint - but again not my fault.
        Very difficult tenants but i have bent over backwards to help them - way beyond what any other agent would do and i even offered them my own personal mobile internet to get them online pending bt.
        My next course of action is to write a formal letter confirming what we will do for them and asking for immediate payment.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by nick4692 View Post
          tthey complained there was no lawnmower so ive offered our gardener to pop round whenever it needs cleaning.
          LLs are expected to supply a lawnmower????
          Now signature free.

          Comment

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