Being sued for rejecting a tenant due to bad references

Being sued for rejecting a tenant due to bad references

10:33 AM, 21st July 2015, About 7 years ago 33

Text Size

I run a small letting agency where I own half of the properties we rent out. All in all this works well as I understand what a landlords needs are!sued

However, several weeks a go we received an application to rent a property from an individual to for one of my most valuable properties in my portfolio. The property is worth in excess of £400k and the rental is £1300pcm. When we asked his previous agent/landlord for a reference for the individual we were told they were not prepared to put it in writing, but they would verbally give us a reference over the phone.

They then proceeded to tell us that the tenants rent was currently £575pcm and they had never paid their rent on time and they did not look after their property. With this information we then told the applicant that he had been unsuccessful and would not be able to rent this property.

Yesterday I received a letter from a solicitor stating I have 14 days to pay £5000 of out of court damages to the applicant for the inconvenience I have caused him by not allowing him to rent the property.

I am astounded by this! Am I now not allowed to decide who rents my property? Should I take these threats seriously?

Lyn



Comments

by Rob Crawford

16:03 PM, 22nd July 2015, About 7 years ago

Sounds like a "no win no fee" merchant. Some good advice above although I would not recommend a "do nothing" approach. Just for the future - if you do a credit and ref check and you are not happy to take on the tenant, don't go into detail. They have failed the checks, that is all you need to say. Many landlords / employers will only do a verbal, not unusual.

by Lyn Mallee

17:43 PM, 23rd July 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "21/07/2015 - 10:38":

Thank you. I have sent all the information over to my P.I insurer and I am now waiting for their solicitors to deal with it. I didn't want any of my communication to affect my insurance.

by Lyn Mallee

17:48 PM, 23rd July 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Peter Fisher - Fixed Fee Law" at "22/07/2015 - 12:50":

Thank you Peter - I have referred it all to my P.I insurance but will keep everyone updated with the outcome. The Solicitors taking the action against me are Ahmad & Williams - http://www.ahmadwilliams.co.uk so they do check out as legitimate.

by Lyn Mallee

19:48 PM, 23rd July 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Rob Crawford" at "22/07/2015 - 16:03":

We didn't reveal the details of the bad reference to the individual we just advised him that he had failed our referencing. I have also found out today that he is still living at his original address and has yet to hand his notice in. So his Solicitors claim of having to find "alternative accommodation in urgency" is all rubbish.

by Lyn Mallee

13:34 PM, 4th August 2015, About 7 years ago

I have just been contacted by my P.I insurance to state that I am not covered on the above matter - apparently my P.I insurance does not cover properties I own?

by Lyn Mallee

13:35 PM, 4th August 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "21/07/2015 - 10:38":

I have just been contacted by my P.I insurance to state that I am not covered on the above matter - apparently my P.I insurance does not cover properties I own?

by Lyn Mallee

13:36 PM, 4th August 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Peter Fisher - Fixed Fee Law" at "21/07/2015 - 12:19":

I have just been contacted by my P.I insurance to state that I am not covered on the above matter - apparently my P.I insurance does not cover properties I own?

by

13:46 PM, 4th August 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Lyn Mallee" at "04/08/2015 - 13:36":

Hi Lyn - more than happy to help - check out my profile

by Rob Crawford

14:11 PM, 4th August 2015, About 7 years ago

I think there are a geat many letting agents (including myself) who manage their own properties with those of other landlords through an agency that they have set up for that purpose. I can't remember reading in my policy or being told that activities relating to my own properties would not be covered. As the cost of PI insurance is often linked to an agent's turnover I wonder how many are paying over the odds for PI insurance that does not give the expected cover!

by Simon Topple

14:19 PM, 10th August 2015, About 7 years ago

I really wouldn't worry about it.

I would feed back to the solicitors that you are viewing their attempt to reach an out of court settlement as extortion and you will be reporting their conduct to the law society.

The tenant filed references, the Invitation to Treat comment is on the money - the tenant offered, you didn't accept, there is no contract and you did not enter into a contract that was later repudiated.

You could always refer them to the case of Arkell vs Pressdram Ltd.


Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

BECOME A MEMBER