Agent sells out – What are the legal consequences?

by Readers Question

8:44 AM, 12th July 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Agent sells out – What are the legal consequences?

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Agent sells out – What are the legal consequences?

As a landlord I have recently discovered that the agent we have been using was taken over by another over 12 months ago. Neither I as the landlord nor the tenants have been advised of this change and there are other landlords saying the same.

We have discovered this by looking back at bank statements and seeing the different bank account names. A company search shows a registered company, but only a new director not the old one we dealt with.

Does this have legal consequences:
1 Are the contracts legal and binding
2 We have no contract with the new company
3 Are the deposit and rents safe
4 Existing tenants have not been given lease renewals but just put on an ongoing arrangement that we knew nothing about
5 Tenants have left we have not been informed and new tenants have come in again we have not been informed
6 What redress do we have in ceasing the relationship
7 Is there case law to refer to
8 Do we need to go through the new company’s complaints procedure even thought there is no context between us
9 How do we find out if the company is a member of one of the organisations ie ARLA etc?
10 What about rent deposits ?
11 Should we involve the police at this stage?

Advice and guidance most welcome.

Stephen



Comments

Graham Bowcock

10:22 AM, 12th July 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Hi Stephen

There are many points to your question.

At the very least the agent has shown poor form on communication with yourself and other clients. This does not necessarily mean there is anything untoward going on. Businesses do get bought and sold.

It may be that the agency agreement you had simply transferred to the new company, so all terms that you signed up to are still binding.

My advice would be to meet the agent and find out exactly what they have done. You need reassurance that matters will be handled properly, but clearly you have doubts.

I don’t see that this is a police matter. Unless there is fraud, it’s quite simply a contractual matter between you and the agent.

The change of tenants without your involvement is unusual so you do need to investigate this. Check your TOB to find out how such changes are supposed to work.

It is understandable that you have these questions, but there might’ve rational answers.


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