My daughter is the victim of a fraudulent letting agent – Help please

My daughter is the victim of a fraudulent letting agent – Help please

9:44 AM, 8th November 2016, About 5 years ago 39

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My daughter is the victim of a fraudulent letting agent . This is quite a complicated story, my daughter has a AST for a 12 month fixed term with a letting agency which turns out to be fraudulent! fraud

She paid three months rent plus a deposit upfront ( which hasn’t been protected ) which was never passed on to the landlord. The landlord says she doesn’t have an agreement with the letting agent that let the property to my daughter and other tenants.

The landlord says that the letting agent she has an agreement with(which is also bogus) has sublet to another letting agent ( the one my daughter has an agreement with ) without her permission!

The Landlord now wants the tenants to vacate the property ( there are 5 in total ) . The tenants have offered to negotiate with the landlord as they are happy in the property, but she is still asking them to vacate.

What rights if any,has my daughter and the other tenants in this instance ?

Will the landlord have to go down the usual eviction process, the tenants do not want to withhold rent but obviously don’t want to pass on any more rental payment to a bogus company!

Any help would be much appreciated.

Julia



Comments

by Gary Nock

15:26 PM, 9th November 2016, About 5 years ago

John I think you will find they are "residential occupiers" - its a residence and they are in occupation - and subject to the protection of the act. The point I am trying to make is that the solicitors trying to evict or pressure the tenants to leave have to be very careful. And if I was the landlord I would be sitting down with the tenants trying to reach a solution.

by Mark Alexander

15:46 PM, 9th November 2016, About 5 years ago

Wow, what an interesting thread. It's not every day that we get a full account of the law (pro-bono) from a specialist barrister of the standing of Charles King - thank you sir!
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by Julia Banyard

22:12 PM, 9th November 2016, About 5 years ago

Dear all
I would like to sincerely thank each of you for giving up your time to help make some legal sense to this hideous situation my daughter finds herself in.
Your comments have been invaluable and I hope my daughter and the other tenants can move forward and aim to get an agreeable outcome to this mess for everyone .
Thank you again .

by Mark Alexander

22:39 PM, 9th November 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Julia Banyard" at "09/11/2016 - 22:12":

Please keep us updated Julia.
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by Martin Wheeler

1:09 AM, 10th November 2016, About 5 years ago

I would add another point... I suspect the landlord's motivation for wanting re-possession is quite strong. Just guessing here, but on finding out that their appointed agent/s have let the property to sharers, thus creating an un-licenced HMO could put them in breach of their mortgage conditions (again, assuming they have one). Councils are HOT on licencing so it wouldn't surprise me if it was the council that wrote to the landlord threatening legal action for lack of licence. (If) landlord then applies for licence > council inform lender > lender sends a letter to landlord giving 30 days before re-possession proceedings due to breach of mortgage condition (i.e. no HMO's) > Landlord panics and tries to get heavy on tenants > tenant's Mum posts on popular forum > landlord aware they could be in breach of Protection from Eviction 1977 (criminal) > landlord cools off and does what they should have done in the first place > play it real cool with tenants to reach amicable solution.

Point being, I wouldn't assume that the landlord will ever be happy with the tenancy, however delightful the occupants are. There's a real sharers v single household market divide due to licencing regs.

I suggest... landlord & tenants have a sit down > cup of tea > landlord explains predicament > tenants accept that a mistake has been made > landlord waives missing rent, agrees to pay for moving costs & puts them in touch with lovely new ARLA letting agent for new housing - paying for all the fees too > tenants move elsewhere (say in the New year) feeling adequately compensated.

I wonder if that's a workable solution?

As an aside Julia, have you checked Land Registry (£3) for confirmation of the owners name for yourself? Always a good place to start.

by Julia Banyard

8:14 AM, 10th November 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Charles King - Barrister-At-Law" at "09/11/2016 - 13:41":

Charles your clarification on the law has been invaluable I can't thank you enough for taking the time out to comment and helping us with our situation . Much gratitude !

by Mark Alexander

8:38 AM, 10th November 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Julia Banyard" at "10/11/2016 - 08:14":

Hi Julia

If things go the wrong way, or you feel you need professional advice, Charles can be contacted via a form on his member profile.

I have referred several clients to Charles and have also engaged the head of his chambers personally to help me to recover £27,500,000 of overcharged tracker mortgage interest from The West Brom building society on behalf of over 6,000 landlords.

Cotswold Barristers chambers has strong pedigree and refreshingly, they provide direct acces (no solicitor required) and charge very reasonable fixed fees, not by the hour!

They are affordable to the average person, and in my experience are far more effective and inexpensive than consulting a solicitor.
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by Julia Banyard

14:28 PM, 10th November 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Martin Wheeler" at "10/11/2016 - 01:09":

Martin how favourable this scenario would be for all ....if only !
I have checked the land registry and it's all as it should be .
Thanks for your advice .

by Julia Banyard

14:33 PM, 10th November 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "10/11/2016 - 08:38":

Thankyou Mark , I will certainly bear this in mind if we don't seem to be getting an agreeable outcome .
I will keep you posted .


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