Shelter’s Income and expenditure figures highlighted13:57 PM, 4th February 2019
About 2 weeks ago 35
My wife and I are expats who have been renting our property through an agent for 5 years. We currently own a four bedroom property (for bedrooms including a loft extensions).
In October 2016, the previous tenants move out and the current occupants moved in. We were sent the documents with a recommendation that we sign. On the agreement were five as opposed to four tenants. The agent gave us no advice on the implications of having 5 tenants. We later discussed that having 5 tenants changed our license from a statutory to a mandatory licence (the mandatory license treated our property the same way as a 3 – 5 floor block of flats). We contacted the agent with this information, and asked them to clarify if we have the right license. They refused to reply to our emails. Three months after the initial email they replied (only after I cced an email to everyone in the organisation).
The advice we received was that we should not have informed the council (which was tantamount to them telling us to break the law). They are now refusing to allow us to cancel the terms of the lease (even though we have agreed to a cancellation with the tenants with an agreement that their rent would be reduced for four months).
The questions I have are:
1. Legally what can we do in this situation?
2. Can we take action against the agents in relation to the original lease agreement. (Surely as experts they should have provided us with advice in terms of having an extra tenant).
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