Agent dismissed but still holding tenants deposits

by Readers Question

4 years ago

Agent dismissed but still holding tenants deposits

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Agent dismissed but still holding tenants deposits

Agent dismissed but still holding tenants deposits

I have 4 flats in one building which I manage myself. I have 2 houses which have been managed for me by a proprietor run letting agency who has recently sold this part of her business, with no warning, to national letting agents. This does not suit me I much prefer to deal with a smaller firm on a one to one basis and have terminated them acting as agents for me.

It has been quite difficult dealing with departments located all round England and a different person each time. When I got down to one local contact she could never answer my question but said she would have to get back to me which she seldom did.

I feel very lucky that during all of this only one rent payment has gone astray.

Now my big problem is that all of the deposits the tenants have made which were all held by the original letting agent and have been passed on to this new agent who is holding them until the tenants have given permission in writing to pass them to my scheme which I have set up with MyDeposits. They have been drip feeding my instructions and information about how to sort out these deposits which is frankly annoying and exasperating.

What can I do?

Is it feasible to instruct them to return the deposits to the tenants and I will collect them again from the tenants?

I would be grateful for any easier way out of what is being offerd by the new national agent.

Kind Regards

David Marsh



Comments

Mark Alexander

4 years ago

Hi David

I have invited my Head of Chambers at Cotswold Barristers to comment on this thread.
.

I am amazed that the old agent felt able to transfer his duties to you to someone else without your consent. Only if the terms you had with the old agent permitted this would that be legally valid.

I would suggest you draft a letter of consent for each tenant to sign, and then take them en masse to the new agent.

Also, warn the new agent about the duty they have to hold other people's money in a way that protects the owner's rights, and the offence of fraud by abuse of position.

Yvette Newbury

4 years ago

Go direct to the tenants, draw up a letter for them to sign giving the new agents authorisation to release the deposit to you and you then secure immediately with myDeposits. You may like to speak to MyDeposits to confirm the dates they want you to put as the start date (if it is beyond 30 days since start of contract). Once you have those authorisations, visit the agency and stress in the strongest terms that this needs to be sorted out now and the money released to you. I would sit in their offices and wait for it to be done if necessary. You can remind the agency that they must be aware of the time limiits within which this needs to be sorted out, so you are actually helping them by ensuring all your tenants have signed to confirm and then finalising the payments in MyDeposits.

Michael Barnes

4 years ago

One problem I can see with going to the tenants is that they probably will not know who you are (if all previous contact has been with the letting agent). Therefore you will probably need to visit with the agent so that they can introduce you.

I know that if I were atenant and someone turned up claiming to be the landlord, then I would be very suspicious.

Michael Barnes

4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Yvette Newbury " at "12/06/2014 - 22:48":

The time limit is 30 days from receipt of deposit, not 30 days from start of contract.

David Marsh

4 years ago

Hi Many thanks to all for the helpful comments and suggestions. From inside information I have obtained these new agents are being difficult in the hope that I will give up and do nothing, thereby leaving then in contact with my tenants and myself, this in the hope of picking up my business when new tenants are needed for empty properties.
I have instucted them to return the deposits to the tenants which should break contact and close the matter.
Kind regards to all
David Marsh


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