Can I claim for damages from my Letting Agency?

Can I claim for damages from my Letting Agency?

16:41 PM, 10th May 2021, About 7 months ago 7

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We have had problems with a tenant who has caused malicious damage to our property. With unpaid rent and the damage, it amounts to around £4,500.

I have been told by my insurance broker that my landlords content insurance doesn’t cover malicious damage, although I haven’t, as yet, submitted a claim directly with the insurers.

The tenant has since died, so I cannot claim from him other than making a claim on his estate or hoping on some form of goodwill from his adult children.

I was just wondering if I have a claim on my Letting Agent as they found the tenant and took references etc?

Thanks. Any advice appreciated.

Tony



Comments

by LordOf TheManor

18:21 PM, 10th May 2021, About 7 months ago

Tony.......
What does your contract with the Letting Agent include? Were there property inpections included in their agreement? If so, have you seen the visit reports? What exactly did you agree with them beyond tenant finding and referencing?

Also, what's the split between 'the damage' and the unpaid rent? You would have to separate these factors to go forward, one way or another.

Sorry about your situation, however, more information on it is needed to offer any further suggestions or advice.

by Graham Bowcock

9:26 AM, 11th May 2021, About 7 months ago

Tony
Sorry to hear about your unfortunate situation.
You will need to start with the terms of business you have with your agent to find out what they agreed to do for you. Our agency terms specifically excude malicious damage by tenants as we have no control over it. However, if the agent has not managed the property correctly you may have some case for a contribution, especially if they have failed to inspect or to report issues to you.
It may be worth your while sitting down with the agent to see how they are prepared to help you. Luckily such situations are rare, but when we have had issues in the past, we do try and help landlords to sort things out.

I doubt that insurance will cover the damage.

by Mark Weedon

9:54 AM, 11th May 2021, About 7 months ago

I would clarify the terms of your policy. I very much doubt it excludes malicious damage. It may exclude malicious damage by the tenant or limit the payment.
Ask your broker to show you where in the policy oit excludes cover.

by Robert Mellors

10:05 AM, 11th May 2021, About 7 months ago

I had tenants cause around £40k worth of damage in 2019 and I submitted a claim on my insurance. The insurance company said it was not malicious damage, but was damage done during the course of the tenancy, (e.g. excessive wear and tear, accidental damage by tenants, etc), and therefore most of it was not covered by the insurance policy (they offered me about £3.5k as settlement).
I reported the damage to the police, as criminal damage, and the police agreed that the level of damage amounted to criminal damage, as it could not have been accidental.
I gathered reports from maintenance contractors who had visited the property within the previous 2 years, to evidence that the damage had been done since they last visited (and also that I had maintained the property and carried out landlord repairs).
It was not managed by letting agents so unfortunately I had no letting agent inspection reports.
I rejected the insurance company settlement offer of £3.5k and sent them the additional information/evidence and asked them to reconsider. I rejected their next offer. We eventually settled on about £15k, as being the sum attributable to malicious damage, with the rest being damage not amounting to "malicious damage" (i.e. wear and tear, poor tenant behaviour, etc).

Not sure if that helps in your situation, but certainly check the small print in your insurance policy to see what exactly is covered and what isn't, and think about what evidence you may need in order to support your claim.

As for the letting agent, I doubt that you will have any legal come back on them, unless you can prove that they did not carry out the work they were contracted to do (e.g. if your contract with them states that they will carry out inspections every 6 months, did they carry out those inspections?), or if they were in some way negligent.

by Mick Roberts

11:14 AM, 11th May 2021, About 7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Robert Mellors at 11/05/2021 - 10:05
Brilliant Rob,

U the Daddy at sorting problems out where most would give up. Wish u was in Nottingham & come lay your negotiating & persistence skills here. I'm getting weary of it. It's the imbecile authorities wearing us down.

by Tony stark

13:11 PM, 11th May 2021, About 7 months ago

Just thought I would say thanks to you all for your input and help. I won’t be pursuing the agent as they have helped in getting things sorted out. Might ask them if they would, through goodwill, contribute to the costs. In a nutshell the tenant turned into an alcoholic and was abusive and a nuisance to neighbours.
He also chose to c**p all over the walls and carpets and smoke excessively. There is a lot more but I won’t bore you all with the details.

He died after various visits to hospital.

Costs I want to claim are down to two months lost rent, thorough cleaning, re-decorating throughout, re carpeting etc and two visits arranged by local police to secure the property after they were called out and had to knock the door down to get in.

I will now try to make a claim on his estate or his adult children’s goodwill.
There are also other costs down to issuing schedule 14 and 21 notices.

After being in the property rental business for 15 years or so ( three buy to let and two holiday rental properties) this is the first real problem we have so maybe we should think ourselves lucky

Happy days! Thanks again.

by Tony stark

13:12 PM, 11th May 2021, About 7 months ago

I was halfway through replying when it vanished so this may be a repeat post.

Just thought I would say thanks to you all for your input and help. I won’t be pursuing the agent as they have helped in getting things sorted out. Might ask them if they would, through goodwill, contribute to the costs. In a nutshell the tenant turned into an alcoholic and was abusive and a nuisance to neighbours.
He also chose to c**p all over the walls and carpets and smoke excessively. There is a lot more but I won’t bore you all with the details.

He died after various visits to hospital.

Costs I want to claim are down to two months lost rent, thorough cleaning, re-decorating throughout, re carpeting etc and two visits arranged by local police to secure the property after they were called out and had to knock the door down to get in.

I will now try to make a claim on his estate or his adult children’s goodwill.
There are also other costs down to issuing schedule 14 and 21 notices.

After being in the property rental business for 15 years or so ( three buy to let and two holiday rental properties) this is the first real problem we have so maybe we should think ourselves lucky

Happy days! Thanks again.


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