Terrible time with council tenant and shock at how law treats landlords15:32 PM, 9th January 2019
About 2 weeks ago 40
This agent manages a single house I acquired earlier this year in an area of the UK I don’t live near, so I used a local agent, on a finders fee only basis.
They did a great job in terms of tenant finding, and found a tenant who I am completely happy with, appearing reliable, and who I have met. The tenant moved in almost three months ago.
Since the contract was signed, things have clearly gone awry at the agents end. I have had no evidence of the deposit being in a secure scheme, and no statement of the first months rent with their fee removed.
Over the six weeks since my first raising this with the agent, I had a couple of responses like ‘the accounts woman is on holiday’, and then no answer. As of this week, their phone is now unobtainable, and I phoned the Property Ombudsman (with whom they are listed as a member) who confirmed that, as of yesterday, they suspended their membership, the reason given they had gone into administration.
They said they can do nothing for me, and didn’t have any further details or advice, as they only act for their active members!
Luckily the tenant is paying rent directly into my account, so this is not a compounding issue.
So, I am wondering what I should do. My absolute priority is to protect my tenant, and I am aware it is my obligation to place the deposit in a scheme, and then it becomes my debt to recover. The amount is around £1300. Presumably there is some kind of process to list creditors to a company that goes into administration? I have never had to do such a thing before so have no idea where you would start.
But also, I am wondering about the status of the current contract? This is between me and the tenant, but drawn up in the agents format, which describes fees payable for renewal, and at termination, payable to the agent by the tenant. Would some revived agency be able to demand these fees? Is it essential I tear this up and start a new contract, or just wait til renewal in 10 months time and then start a new contract then?
Any thoughts gratefully received!
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