Agent didn’t protect tenant deposit and now in liquidation?

Agent didn’t protect tenant deposit and now in liquidation?

11:47 AM, 10th February 2022, About 4 months ago 3

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Hi everyone, I may be in a bit of a situation. I have an agent who I have used for one of my properties who it looks like took a 3k deposit from tenants, didn’t protect it, and are now about to go into liquidation… The AST contract signed with the tenants is between them and the tenant and doesn’t make any mention of me at all.

They MIGHT have protected the deposit, but I’ve been unable to find it by using the find deposit feature on all the deposit protection websites. The company aren’t answering emails because they are liquidating and have basically walked away…

I’m really concerned that I’m going to be slammed for this? Does anyone know what the situation would be here?

I didn’t ever receive the deposit, and as mentioned the AST is between the agent and the tenant. I only found out yesterday that the tenants have been asking the agent for the deposit protection information, so this is all brand new to me…. 🙁

Any Advice

Leanne



Comments

by Ian Narbeth

12:19 PM, 10th February 2022, About 4 months ago

Hi Leanne
You need to check the AST. An "agent" acts for his or her principal - you - so if you received the rent is very likely you are the landlord and have primary responsibility to protect the deposit and serve Prescribed Information.
How much was the deposit?
Many ASTs emphasise the agent's role but I am doubtful you are not party to the AST. There is also a duty to give the name and and address for service on the Landlord. I suggest you contact the tenants in a friendly manner and try to get to the bottom of what is going on.

by David

14:53 PM, 10th February 2022, About 4 months ago

Is this a rent to rent scheme, where the agent is the landlord and they pay you a supposedly guaranteed rent regardless of what the tenant pays them? If so, then you may be ok, but you will inherit these tenants from the agent if they fold as your direct tenants. At that point, any deposit may be deemed transferred to you anyway, regardless of whether it has or not. The advice you need should come from a specialist housing solicitor such as those with JMW or Anthony Gold. They will need to be familiar with the case law on the issue as well as statute.

by Ian Narbeth

14:59 PM, 10th February 2022, About 4 months ago

I see the deposit was £3000 so the tenants are likely to be well-heeled and aware of their legal rights. I agree with David. Get some professional advice quickly.


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