• Welcome to the LegalBeagles Consumer and Legal Forum. If this is your first visit to LegalBeagles and you need assistance then you can ask a question here;
    Create a Thread
    Please Register to get the most out of the forum. Registration is free and only needs a username and email address.
    REGISTER
    Please do not post your full name, reference numbers or any identifiable details on the forum.

Legal help with rogue letting agent

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

  • ricoeliso
    started a topic Legal help with rogue letting agent

    Legal help with rogue letting agent

    I was wondering if someone on this forum might be able to give advice on the course of action to take against a rogue letting agent.

    Last year a letting agent I had used to rent out my property had, without my consent, allowed my tenant to leave mid-term and replaced them with another tenant. To appease matters (after I raised the illegality of their actions) the letting agent agreed to take over the contract themselves for a further 12 months, in effect becoming the tenant and taking responsibility for rent, damage etc. A new contract was signed with the letting agent named as the tenant.

    Since then the letting agent has failed to pay the rent on time on 4 separate occasions, and for the latest arrears they have now stopped responding to emails and phone calls.

    I have issued them an arrears letter (the 4th time I have now had to do this) but what further action can I now take? I have read online that I can report the letting agent to Trading Standards, which I intend to do, but should I get a lawyer involved and can I pursue them through the Small Claims court? The fact that they are acting as the letting agent AND tenant makes things a complicated.

    Furthermore, they have collected a deposit from the tenant now occupying my apartment but have deposited it themselves which I presume means they hold responsibility over it, even if they are the tenant on my contract?

    I'm also thinking it would be best to cut ties with them completely and issue notice on my apartment, so any advice on this process would also be gratefully received.
    Last edited by ricoeliso; 12th January 2020, 09:28:AM.

  • ricoeliso
    replied
    thanks for the responses above. regrettably the situation has not moved forward since the last post. I have managed to get in contact with the occupier of my flat, who has provided proof of payment to the Letting Agent. The letting agent continues to ignore calls and emails. I have also reported the incident to the police as a theft, since he does now appear to have stolen the rent.

    I'm stuck with the next course of action. currently looking for lawyer to help.¬*

    Leave a comment:


  • jaguarsuk
    replied
    Originally posted by ricoeliso View Post
    Thank you for all your responses and advice. As a further update

    - I've also discovered upon reviewing my paperwork and past correspondence that the letting agent has not provided details of the deposit being put in a Deposit Protection Scheme, it only mentions in the contract that a deposit was collected. I'm not sure if there is any grounds to also report them on this basis, or to who?¬*
    Check with the deposit schemes to find out if they have registered it, if not - https://england.shelter.org.uk/housi...osit_protected

    Originally posted by ricoeliso View Post
    - To compound matters, i've also discovered today that they have not paid the council tax for the last couple of months (the responsibility of the tenant per the contract, which in this case is the letting agent), despite me raising this with them two months ago when i had received a notice from council in the post about an outstanding amount owed
    I'd send the council a copy of the tenancy agreement and tell them to pursue them.

    Originally posted by ricoeliso View Post
    I've checked over the contract and it says that they are to pay all reasonable costs and expenses incurred in the recovery of any rent. It also says i have the right to re-enter the property "and immediately thereon the tenancy shall terminate" without prejudice to my other rights if rent is unpaid 14 days after becoming payable, whether or not it has been demanded. Does this give me any further power to take back the property?

    many thanks¬*
    It mean you can terminate the contract for breaching the terms and take back the property yes, but you might want to let the people who are living there know and see what arrangement you might want to come to with them about them staying on by signing a new agreement with you. Make sure you check they have paid the rent to the agent first though, that may be why they haven't paid you.

    Originally posted by ricoeliso View Post
    in addition, does anyone know a good solicitor that might be able to assist with this?
    I don't know if pt2537 firm have anyone who can assist in this area?

    Or try https://justbeagle.com/

    Leave a comment:


  • ricoeliso
    replied
    in addition, does anyone know a good solicitor that might be able to assist with this?
    Last edited by ricoeliso; 14th January 2020, 10:34:AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • ricoeliso
    replied
    Thank you for all your responses and advice. As a further update

    - I contacted The Property Ombudsman Service, who advised that the letting agent is registered with a different organisation - the Property Redress Scheme
    - I contacted the Property Redress Scheme, who have told me to issue a formal complaint to the estate agent, outlining my grievances (which i have now done) and giving them 7 days to respond. If after 8 weeks (!!) they have not issued a formal response, i can open a case against them
    - I also contacted the Citizens Advice Bureau, who basically just told me to get a lawyer. They have passed on my details to Trading Standards in respect of potential fraudulent activity, but couldn't guarantee that the case would be followed up unless there had been multiple other complaints against the letting agent
    - I've also discovered upon reviewing my paperwork and past correspondence that the letting agent has not provided details of the deposit being put in a Deposit Protection Scheme, it only mentions in the contract that a deposit was collected. I'm not sure if there is any grounds to also report them on this basis, or to who?¬*
    - To compound matters, i've also discovered today that they have not paid the council tax for the last couple of months (the responsibility of the tenant per the contract, which in this case is the letting agent), despite me raising this with them two months ago when i had received a notice from council in the post about an outstanding amount owed

    I've checked over the contract and it says that they are to pay all reasonable costs and expenses incurred in the recovery of any rent. It also says i have the right to re-enter the property "and immediately thereon the tenancy shall terminate" without prejudice to my other rights if rent is unpaid 14 days after becoming payable, whether or not it has been demanded. Does this give me any further power to take back the property?

    many thanks¬*

    Leave a comment:


  • jaguarsuk
    replied
    Originally posted by R0b View Post
    Bearing in mind what Jags has said, if you do go down that route, you may have waived your right to terminate the contract - again, subject to what the terms actually say. I would suggest exploring your options before making a firm decision.¬*
    Indeed, see if there is a solicitor locally who does an introductory free assessment of your position.

    Leave a comment:


  • R0b
    replied
    Bearing in mind what Jags has said, if you do go down that route, you may have waived your right to terminate the contract - again, subject to what the terms actually say. I would suggest exploring your options before making a firm decision.¬*

    Leave a comment:


  • jaguarsuk
    replied
    Originally posted by luxardo View Post
    it's not complicated at all, they owe you money, take them to court !!!
    I would complain to the property ombudsman first, if you can get a resolution free, then why not? https://www.tpos.co.uk/consumers/how...ke-a-complaint

    Leave a comment:


  • R0b
    replied
    Originally posted by ricoeliso View Post
    easier said than done! Can you take people to small claims court for non-payment of rent?
    I think that's a bit of a silly question. If nobody could take the other to court for money that is owed and payable the whole economy would come to a standstill.¬*

    First of all, check what the terms of the tenancy says about payment of rent. There might be a clause to say that if they haven't paid the rent then you are entitled to terminate the contract and recover the outstanding balance in addition an amount equating to the remainder of the tenancy.

    Alternatively you may be able to terminate the contract based on repudiation, that means a breach so fundamental that goes to the root of the contract. You have to be careful about repudiatory breaches because the courts have held that non-payment of a couple of months does not amount to repudiation. You can cover your back by writing to them first explaining that they have not paid the last 4 instalments of rent and that you have sent numerous letters and calls but to no avail. Because of their lack of response together with the failure to pay, you consider this to be a repudiation of the contract.

    What's the difference between the two? Well breach of contract will set out what you are entitled whereas a repudiatory breach is another method of terminating the contract if the terms aren't as favourable to you. It also allows you to discharge all future obligations and liabilities and unless the tenancy contract limits their liability as such, you can seek consequential losses too e.g. cost of sourcing a new letting agent, fees in finding a new tenant etc.

    Relying on repudiatory breach means you have to tell the letting agent you are accepting their repudiation and terminating on that basis because if you don't then you won't be able to rely on it. Best course of action would be to rely on both as alternative reasons for termination.¬*

    So, check the tenancy contact, then you'll know your position to consider taking action against them for the recovery of debt. Since a debt is known as a primary obligation rather than secondary (it acts independently whereas a secondary obligation requires the trigger of something else such as failure to maintain the property), all you need to prove is that the debt was owed and the deadline for payment has passed.

    If I recall, letting agents must be registered with an ombudsman which, currently, is either The Property Ombudsman or the Property Redress Scheme.¬*¬*

    Leave a comment:


  • ricoeliso
    replied
    easier said than done! Can you take people to small claims court for non-payment of rent?

    Leave a comment:


  • luxardo
    replied
    it's not complicated at all, they owe you money, take them to court !!!

    Leave a comment:

View our Terms and Conditions

LegalBeagles Group uses cookies to enhance your browsing experience and to create a secure and effective website. By using this website, you are consenting to such use.To find out more and learn how to manage cookies please read our Cookie and Privacy Policy.

If you would like to opt in, or out, of receiving news and marketing from LegalBeagles Group Ltd you can amend your settings at any time here.


If you would like to cancel your registration please Contact Us. We will delete your user details on request, however, any previously posted user content will remain on the site with your username removed and 'Guest' inserted.
Working...
X