Agent told me to forget about the rent arrears!

by Readers Question

8:22 AM, 5th August 2016
About 2 years ago

Agent told me to forget about the rent arrears!

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Agent told me to forget about the rent arrears!

I have had a house managed by an Letting Agent now for two years . The tenant who was found by the Letting Agent is on benefits and the rent is paid by the government direct to the Letting Agent and she has a top up of about £10 per week. no hope

I have been telling the Estate agent that she is behind with her rent now for over six months and he kept promising to sort it out . I have now received a statement from the Letting Agent that shows that the tenant is around £4000 behind in her rent.

I was also informed by one of the Agents assistants that from February 2015 to March 2016 the money had been paid into an unknown bank account by the government. I went to the Letting Agents office this week and was informed that the manager I was dealing with is no longer with them due to illness and stress and they informed me that a new manager had been employed to chase tenants bad debts due to the last managers incompetence.

The new manager stated that I had no chance of getting the money back from the government even though it had not been paid to the Letting Agent or to me and advised me that he will issue a section 21A to evict her and that that I should forget about the outstanding money.

Do I have any comeback against this Agent due to the mangers incompetence?

Mike



Comments

Neil Patterson

8:26 AM, 5th August 2016
About 2 years ago

Hi Mike,

I would check with the council where the money has been paid first!

I would also check with the tenant if they have definitely not been paying the £10 top up.

I am not saying there will definitely be anything untoward, but if there is you will have some protections or legal remedies.

Luke P

12:49 PM, 5th August 2016
About 2 years ago

As frustrating as it might be, the agent cannot be responsible if the tenant has not paid or if, as is claimed, the HB has been paid into the wrong account (although that could be sorted).

terry sullivan

12:49 PM, 5th August 2016
About 2 years ago

avoid hb tenants

Steve Bower

13:00 PM, 5th August 2016
About 2 years ago

Sounds like incompetent EA. Any comeback with ARLA/ Property Ombudsman or even small claims?

Onehouse Landlord

13:15 PM, 5th August 2016
About 2 years ago

You might track the money down -I had experience a year ago of the DWP paying a relative's money (not HB in this case) into a complete stranger's account. It took a lot of frustrating phone calls, but I did get the money paid back to my relative. It's not impossible to get the money back, but stick at the task and keep very detailed notes.
(The DWP might be interested anyway, after all whose account was the money going into, and how did the error occur- was it theft?) You'll get a different level of help from each DWP person every time you ring, but eventually you might get someone inclined to help you. Good luck!

Dover Letting Agent

13:23 PM, 5th August 2016
About 2 years ago

If you are selling a house use a Estate Agent, if you renting a property use a Letting Agent, believe it or not they do not mix well, also make sure that the letting Agent is a member of a trades body such as ARLA, UKala and where possible a Safe Agent where the agent must carry CMP client money protection and have strict guide lines to adhere to.

Richard Baker

9:12 AM, 6th August 2016
About 2 years ago

If I understand correctly, it seems a years money has gone missing from the Council and additionally the tenant may or may not have paid a £10 top up. If that's true I wouldn't worry too much about the latter as the sum of money isn't that significant in the great scheme of things, and focus my energies on the former.
Councils, in my experience, don't pay the wrong account. They've either not paid (in which case the agent is negligent for not advising you) or they've paid the tenant (in which case the agent is negligent for not advising you) or they've paid the agent and the money hasn't been passed on to you (in which case I'd report it to the police and the local trading standard office).
In any event, I'd serve a section 21 notice whilst you sort all this out, to mitigate any further loss.

terry sullivan

10:11 AM, 6th August 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Richard Baker" at "06/08/2016 - 09:12":

the police etc will not be in the slightest bit interested--they are all anti private landlords--its a requirement for the non-jobbers.

you can county court the tenant but you will be unlikely to get any money back--sort out blame then S21 and notify referencing companies

Jane Saxton

7:14 AM, 7th August 2016
About 2 years ago

We had this issue recently and I feel it is definately down to the letting agent to try and chase the unpaid rent. What are you paying them for, honestly! . In our case, Our letting agent chased the tenant for every penny she was behind and they've done a great job. Would you be able to take your letting agent to court? Is it not in their contract to collect rent?


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