Councils using ‘Intelligence’ to track down low EPC properties and fine £5,00015:08 PM, 29th March 2021
About 2 weeks ago 36
We rented a flat through a letting agent, a property that was fully furnished with the intention of letting it to students. He advised us to rent it to the council saying that it would be risk free as the rent would be paid and the property would be returned in the condition that it was initially let. That was three years ago.
In April this year we informed the agent that we would like to terminate the contract as soon as possible, even though the council had paid the rent until the end of September. We wanted it earlier to prepare for the intake of students that happens in the beginning of September, and we agreed to refund any remaining rent back to the council. The council officer agreed to this. The agent clearly expressed that he wouldn’t want to manage a student let so we arranged for another agency to do that. Then the agent informed us that the council representative wanted us to meet us to find out what repairs etc were necessary before handover, and we agreed to do that in good faith even though we knew that it was the agent’s duty. However our attempts at finding a suitable time to do this visit was unduly delayed by the unresponsiveness of both the council officer and our agent. Also the agent had not even arranged an independent inventory when the tenants moved out, even after he admitted that he noticed that there were issues to be addressed.
We noticed the damage at our visit and reported to both of them. An independent inventory done eventually confirmed our findings. However because of the excessive delay in arranging the hand over, which was promised to be at the end of July, we had the property tenanted by new tenants with a new agency on the 6th of September. The council officer is now refusing to consider the findings of the new inventory, because the new tenants were put in place before the hand over was completed. We have email evidence.
We would be very grateful for any advice as to how we can get the council to reimburse for the losses. The council has got a quote for replacing damaged doors and painting etc. which they are prepared to meet halfway, allowing for wear & tear, but not prepared to pay for the missing furniture and furnishings.
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