Owner, Letting Agent, Tenant - Frustrating Love Triangle - please help!

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    Owner, Letting Agent, Tenant - Frustrating Love Triangle - please help!

    I’ve find myself in a frustrating situation and would be grateful for advice from more experienced folks.

    In 2009 I had to let my property after I was required to move for work. I was looking for something hassle free and entered a contract with a persistent local letting agent. In hindsight it was a very unsatisfactory contract - a standard AST with me as the landlord and the letting agent as the tenant, but with permission to sub-let.

    Its been largely ok in the interim years but I am now struggling to get possession of the property back. The current actual tenant has lost her job. She continues to pay her rent but is struggling to find a landlord who will take her on. The letting agent is showing no urgency re getting her out of the flat, content to continue taking the mark-up on the monthly rent.

    Theoretically I have no contract with the actual tenant, so don’t see how i can begin eviction proceedings against her. Its also not clear to me that I could begin eviction proceedings against the letting agent considering they are not actually living in the flat.

    The letting agent has been less than honest over the last 5/6 months telling me a succession of lies and half truths about the tenant’s personal circumstances, telling the tenant not to worry about finding a new place as they think i’ll change my mind etc

    I thought i had a way through by persuading the actual tenant that she and I should deal directly, that we would sign an AST with a fixed period of one month and that I would help her to find a new place. However, after a quite threatening email from the letting agent she became very nervous and paid them another months rent.

    Its a bloody mess - mostly because of my own naivety back in 2009. I need to get the flat back to fund the purchase of a house for my partner and I. The actual tenant has had a bit of bad luck and I’m prepared to be patient with her- but the letting agents have been messing everybody about for there own gain and getting them out of the picture feels like a priority.

    There is probably a straight-forward way through this - but I just can’t see it.

    Sorry for the long post, I’d be really grateful for any advice.

    AM

    #2
    Evict your tenant, the letting agent, using the process outlined in your tenancy with them.

    Who wrote the tenancy agreement between you & agent?
    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 have no experience of this setup and don't really want to but I am curious about what the agreement with the agent says and in particular whether you don't have to worry about whether their tenant is paying the rent because the LA owes it to you regardless and presumably have more money than the occupant.

      Comment


        #4
        I was wondering that too. If the agent is the T, why isn't he paying the rent?
        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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          #5
          There is no 'love triangle', just a straight LL / T (LA).
          OP has no relationship with actual occupier LA's T, so OP cannot evict her, only the LA. Bailiffs should remove/exclude any occupants also in the property.
          Such app scammers, such as LA, don't pay rent.
          Suggests a short term scam, so by time LA is evicted/ceases trading, he may have trousered all rent from his T.
          What checks did OP do on his T?

          Comment


            #6
            In theory, the letting agent is the tenant (although it's not an AST).
            If the person living in the property has been paying rent to the OP and the agent has never lived there, it is possible that the court would view the agreement with the agent as void (the tenancy never began) and the occupant as a tenant with a verbal contract.

            A lot will depend on what agreement that tenant signed with the agent (if there is one).
            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


              #7
              Assuming occupant has an AT or AST (signed or not, described as such or not..) - we know it is an AST, even if the paperwork says otherwise..... then s18 of HA 1988 means on owner (OP) evicting his tenant (letting agent..) then the occupants's AST transfers over with owner becoming landlord

              http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/50/section/18

              Let me guess OP, Tucker, was this a "guaranteed rent" scheme/scam?
              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


                #8
                If the agreement is with a letting agency, it's not with a person and it can't be an AST.
                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


                  #9
                  S18 applies to occupants tenancy with letting agent which will be AST
                  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
                    Ah, I see what you mean.

                    My point was that the route to ending the letting agent's tenancy (if there is one) is not very clear anyway.

                    Also, just for the avoidance of doubt
                    Originally posted by tucker266 View Post
                    I thought i had a way through by persuading the actual tenant that she and I should deal directly, that we would sign an AST with a fixed period of one month and that I would help her to find a new place. However, after a quite threatening email from the letting agent she became very nervous and paid them another months rent.
                    is both a terrible idea and impractical to execute.
                    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

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