Bad management by my letting agent

by Readers Question

11:01 AM, 12th September 2013
About 5 years ago

Bad management by my letting agent

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Bad management by my letting agent

I urgently need some advise

Due to living outside the country I have put all my faith in a letting agent.

I rent out a property in the North East which has now been empty for over 12 months.

I have contacted the agents to enquire as to why they had failed to find tenants but naively accepted their excuses and reasons because the property is in a quite area. (they had previously let the property on 12 month contracts.)

In the hope of finding a tenant I have asked a new larger agent to advertise the property. To my shock they contacted me after inspecting the property to inform me that it was in a very poor & unsafe condition with carpets missing, kitchen units broken, large nails in most of the walls and the oven was missing. The property was refurbished 3 years ago and all this work has now been destroyed by the last tenant.

I immediately contacted the original agent who made no apology and continued to tell me that they believe the property was in an OK condition.

Am I entitled to expect compensation from the original agents for poor management service and allowing the tenant to leave the property in very poor condition and taking with them fixed items such as the oven? Especially when they told me the property was in good condition.

The original agents are now not replying to my calls or emails as I attempt to seek answers.

What should I do next if they continue to ignore my calls?

Thanks in advance for any advice offered. Bad management by my letting agent

Regards

Mark Walker



Comments

Mark Alexander

11:07 AM, 12th September 2013
About 5 years ago

Hi Mark

I recommend you talk to a solicitor immediately with a view to making a claim against your letting agent for professional negligence.

The success or failure of your claim will be very much based on the evidence provided, i.e. the quality of the professional inventory now vs the inventory when your letting agent contracted with you.

If you didn't have professional inventories you may well be best advised to chalk up this unfortunate state of affairs as a a 'learning experience'.

Is your letting agent a member of any professional bodies? If so, a complaint to them is fully justifiable.

You may also wish to consider leaving a review on the All Agents website >>> http://www.allagents.co.uk/

lauren field

12:26 PM, 12th September 2013
About 5 years ago

Hi Mark

I am really sorry to read abou your issues.

Firstly, for the time being stop emailing or telephoning the agency. If you MUST contact them do so by email. Emails are acceptable in court and admissable evidence. Phone conversations, unless recorded with both parties being aware, cannot be used as reliable supporting evidence. So all future contact, do so in writing.

Now, I am more than happy to provide you with some independent advice. However, before I can offer you a suggested way forward can you confirm the following:-

Do you still have a copy of the management contract you signed with the Agency - I am referring to the contract between you and them.

Of course I am assuming you signed one, alot of agencies are very lapse in this department. So if you don't have one or do not remember signing one, do you have hte original brochure or any correspondence from them in writing?

Do you have copies of all the signed trnancy agreements. Right back to the start, with the very first tenants up to the very last tenant.

Do you have copies of the inspection reports? Were there any? What level of management did you have?

Who supplied the inventory? Do you have copies of all the inventories?

When the property was refusrbished, were you there to oversee the works? Do you have receipts still for any of the work carried out?

If you can give me that info first & I realise it is alot then I'll tell you what you need next

Lauren

Mark Alexander

12:46 PM, 12th September 2013
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "lauren field" at "12/09/2013 - 12:26":

Hi Lauren

How do you propose Mark would get this information to you even if he has it?

We don't know anything about you other than the fact that you leave very helpful comment here.

Are you a professional adviser? If so I recommend you to check this out >>> http://www.property118.com/business-sponsorship/

lauren field

14:08 PM, 12th September 2013
About 5 years ago

Yes point taken, I've written quickly as I have been reading the comments on here to pass a little time whilst waiting for a client, so perhaps not made myself very clear but before I even see any documents (assuming Mark would even want my help and want me to take a look) it does depend on what documentation he actually has so I was asking him what he has first and for him to get it together ion front of him before I can ask/suggest anything further.

Secondly, yes I WILL complete my profile as soon as that will tell you a little bit about me & website links etc.

but very quickly, I have worked within the residential lettings industry for over 20 years. I am a landord and have ran, mnanaged and set up many successful lettings agency's including my own. I then progressed into specialising cold starts & trouble shooting for both large independent and coporate companies. I learnt the industry inside out. Throughout this time, it the early stages, I made some very costly mistakes, After which, I then specialised in scrutinising and resolving tenancy agreement clauses and issues for both landlords and tenants alike to prevent others suffering like I did.

Over the years my career within the industry changed course and progressed more in into the legal side and not only have I have assisted many landlords and tenants in court, I have assisted many landlords and tenants resolve their issues by avoiding court. i am also regularly instructed by letting agents to overview their practices and ensure they are fully compliant and help them understand their obligatons regarding due diligence. i work closely with industry specialised barristers and more recently I have vowed to try and assist the more vulnerable & independent landlords hence my joining this particular forum as to be honest I don't get alot of free time, but when I do I want to ensure independent landlords gain a full understanding of what is required from them so that they won't fall foul of the law.

In general, I specialise in landlord and tenant problems and adivse/act accordingly as instructed/required. I review all letting documents and advise on how landlords own documents can be misinterpreted etc if they have been done incorrectly and of course how they can be put right.

I also deal with the unusual and awkward situations some landlords find themselves faced with.

I can also reference check, provide rent guarantee & supply all documentation needed for the life of the tenancy for independent landlords and offer various packages.

I hope that makes sense, as i am writing this whllst sat waiting for my next client, drinking a hot chocolate in a drafty hotel reception whilst dreaming of a sunny beach, who incidently from what it sounds like has a letting agency from hell.

But yes, apologies for not doing my profile sooner. And please feel free to ignore my advice/suggestions but any adive/suggestions I give are done with the best possible intentions and with the 'original posters' best interests in mind.

I am not always availabel but will always try to help where I can if needed

lauren field

14:10 PM, 12th September 2013
About 5 years ago

By the way i have a crappy kepyboard that doesn't seem to be able to keep up with my fingers or type the letters i the order i am pressing the keys this afternoon lol so i apologise for typos !!!

Honestly, I am just typing to fast really

Adam Alexander

14:43 PM, 12th September 2013
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "lauren field" at "12/09/2013 - 14:08":

Hi Lauren

I would be very grateful for any constructive feedback on the guide linked below.

PS - cheque is in the post to the address on your business sponsor profile LOL
.

Paul Baldry

19:05 PM, 12th September 2013
About 5 years ago

Unfortunately it is a tort (a loss or harm) caused by the tenant. As such you need to sue the tenant. The only way it could be on the letting agents would be if they allowed it, which they of course wouldn't (would they).

As for the misinformation to the standard of the property then rather than a solicitor which is costly, takes a number of months and will require a higher standard evidence. I would see if they are registered with the TPO for rentals then they can give compensation at their discretion and they see to take a subjective judgement rather an evidence basis that the court requires

David Sweeney

21:42 PM, 12th September 2013
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Paul Baldry" at "12/09/2013 - 19:05":

Whilst this is primarily a claim against the tenant, it is also possible to sue the agent for not providing the service they agreed and consequential loss. Proving the loss was directly attributable to the agents failure to adhere to the contract may be difficult but it is certainly a possibility.

I won a similar case in 2010 against an agent.

David Sweeney

21:58 PM, 12th September 2013
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Dave Reaney" at "12/09/2013 - 21:42":

By way of example

in my case, LHA tenants were granted a tenancy without my agreement without proper references and without guarantor (mates of the agent).

Therefore I convinced the court that it was pointless me suing the tenant due to LHA status (that deals with mitigating the loss) and that as the agent had not acquired a guarantor, as is standard industry practice for LHA tenants, I had suffered a loss that I would not have suffered if they had done what they should.

lauren field

1:43 AM, 13th September 2013
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Adam Alexander" at "12/09/2013 - 14:43":

Will take a look

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