Ex tenant problems

by Readers Question

12:35 PM, 27th August 2013
About 7 years ago

Ex tenant problems

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Ex tenant problems

To condense the issues here goes… Ex tenant problems

Tenant on AST which ran into periodic for some two months

Tenant leaves no notice, just four page letter of complaints … staff …. other people… everything !

Worth noting at this point.. no complaints at all when in the property, just one boiler issue which was sorted asap and dealt with.

Before the tenant left we received an email from them asking who the rent money was paid to, name of landlord and where was the deposit. All of the required information was contained in the AST, Deposit Protection Certificate and Prescribed Information.

Legal for landlords had advised me that I did not need to give landlord address as I was the full acting management agent.

The tenant had found out ( I did not know) that the landlords business had been dissolved

The tenant now wants all rent back!

I have paid rent over and never had any returned!

Now the tenant taking me to court asking for some eight months barr 5 days rent back!

The company is still going ( landlord) but under a different name (not Ltd just a Partnership) which was running prior to but I paid to the Ltd company.

The tenant seems to want to sabotage my good name for no reason.

They have been left some three months now but think they can use bully tactics to convince me to part with money that was paid in good will to the landlord.

Advice is much appriciated

Thank you

Donna


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Comments

Puzzler

9:15 AM, 6th September 2013
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Gary Dully" at "04/09/2013 - 14:36":

Please read earlier posts ending with Mary Latham's of 30/8 16:28. This lady is a letting agent and as such she is the one open to prosecution. Why she witheld the information is not stated (as an agent she should be aware).

No-one has come up with the basis of the tenant claiming all their rent back. However it may be that Official Receiver has made enquiries although why the agent wasn't contacted is again not clear. If the landlord is a bankrupt business then the rent is owed to the OR.

If the OR is involved then the agent probably needs to get good legal advice pronto or approach the OR herself and explain that she was unaware and what should she do now. They can actually be quite helpful.

Mark Alexander

9:37 AM, 6th September 2013
About 7 years ago

UPDATE

Donna (the property manager who posted the Readers question) has contacted me offline. She does not wish to comment on the thread as it will link to her member profile.However, she has asked me to post the following:-

1) The company was never the owner of the properties, it was only created as a management company for tax purposes on advice of the landlords professional advisers. The company has been wound up, it was not bankrupt and no creditors or insolvency practitioners were involved.
2) Donna did provide details of the landlord within the required 21 days as soon as these were requested by the former tenant, which wasn't until three months after the tenants had vacated the property without giving proper notice.

I have advised Donna to get professional advice, but my opinion as a layman, is that she and the landlord have done absolutely nothing wrong and the former tenant is just 'trying it on'. I have suggested to Donna that a very strong letter from her solicitors to the tenant claiming rent due to failing to serve proper notice is due, together with a complete rebuff of the former tenants claims and the suggestion of an injunction to prevent further hassle to herself and her staff and the possibility of a claim for defamation.

What do others think, do you agree with what I've said to Donna?
.

lauren field

12:01 PM, 6th September 2013
About 7 years ago

Thanks Mark, that clarifies the situation. Also, I agree with you she has done nothing wrong but she is clearly feeling vulnerable and concerned.

First of all, she needs to take control of the situation and you have offered her sound advice and that is to send a stern letter to the tenants from a solicitor. That will she show she is not intimidated and the letter will have more clout coming from a solicitor, especially if the solicitor sends a stern one clarifying the legal situatiion, which is in her favour.

My advice would be this;

Prepare a fact sheet and timeline of events including all threats from her lovely tenants, this will save time for the solicitor, as whilst he/she will still require sight of the file it will make wiring his letter quicker and easier and then it should be kept on file & updated in the event of further actions. .

Is she or her agency a member of any regulatory bodies? i have a good reason for asking this.

make sure her house is in order and all file notes upto date.

If she does not want to go to a solicitor, then she really does need to write a stern letter.

The facts are this, providing the landlord owns the property then its the landlords choice as to where he requests the rent to be paid & that does not affect the tenants rights in anyway. Equally, it is not the tenants business.

Whether the landlord operates 30 limited companies or none at all it is of NO consequence to the tenant unless he goes into liqudation and the administrators take over at which point the tenant STILL has to pay the rent until such time as he directed otherwise. I will not waste time going into the full legal requirements in the event a landlord went bust as it is irrelevant to this situation.

The tenant has no justification to demand repayment of rent on this basis & in any event, he MUST put his requests into writing to both the landlord and letting agent, detailing his compaints with proper reasons to support his claim & allowing significant time for a response.

The landlord does NOT have to have his address on the tenancy agreement, but his name SHOULD be. In the event his name is not on the agreement there could be several reasons for this and other steps should have been taken to justify this & as teh Agent has explained she responded in accordance with the legal requirements as set out under section 1. Therefore, again the tenant has no justifiable claim in this regard.

The agent MUST at all times carry out due diligence and confirm at the very least the property is owned by the landlord. This is a very simple and straight forward thing to do.

The agent MUST pay the rent over to the landlord minus agreed deductions within a reasonable time. As we know, the Agent did this, once again the Tenant has no claim against the agency.

The tenant CANNOT withold rent for poor property defects without having an order from the court (unless such provisions are provided in the tenancy agreement) The court MAY award the tenant compensation for the poor living conditions and WILL make an order in regards to poor property defects that affect the required standard of enjoyable living both expected and necessary for the tenant.

Therefore, the tenant CANNOT demand rent back at a later stage, having ended a tenancy without giviing proper notice. Especially if no concerns were ever brought to the attention of the landlord or landlords agents & in any event, should the tenant feel he has a strong enough case he can apply to the SCC for a judgment - but that does not mean he will be successful, especially where the POD are submitted timely and factual with supporting evidence.

The tenant SHOULD have given proper notice as required by the law, irrespective as to what is written in the Agreement. If the tenant has not done so, then the Landlord MAY have a case against the tenant for loss of rental income, however, this is assuming the tenancy agreement is compliant with the law and has been written in plain english without Notices being issued at the commencement of the tenancy. Assuming all the procedures were correct and the agreement is written in plain english the landlord can then decide whether he can be bothered to pursue the tenant, should he chose to do so he must do so in a manner that is expected within the legal parameters of the understanding of the court in law.

Therefore, in essence I would AGREE with Mark and suggest that the Agent involved take the bull by the horns and get a solicitors letter sent out as in this instance it will probably be £200 well spent. .

I have had experience with bullying tenants/landlords to the point where i was physically attacked, held down and beaten up all becuase they wanted money back & didn't understand the law or did understand but didn't care

My situation became really ugly and it was awful. It was also a massive learning curve for me & as a result I made alot of changes.

I have been in the letting & property industry for over 20 years and I have seen and learnt alot first hand. I now make sure i am fully aware of ALL legal requirements and act accordingly. i have since had the greatest privilege of assisting agents, landlords and tenants in court but more importantly working to achieve a successful outcome by avoiding court action wherever possible. So i now don't take bullies too kindly and I can empathasise greatly with your lady's situation.

Please tell her not to feel afraid or intimidated as I cannot see that she has done anything wrong and that is something she should be very proud of in the letting business as you would be surprised at the little things landlord and agents get wrong however experienced)

If she wishes to email me privately, I am more than happy to listen and advise further but would need to see supporting documentation to ensure I am giving the correct advice..

i hope this has been of some help

lauren field

12:26 PM, 6th September 2013
About 7 years ago

Mark , Jay Jay - in regards to concealing the landlords name from the Agreement based on yoru understanding of the land registry provisions to avoid identity theft is not strictly correct.

A Landlord MUST provide their name on the Agreement as essentially, the agreement is between the landlord and the tenant and all parties must know who the other party is.

The Landlord can however, provide an address which is not his/her own providing that it is in England or Wales. An agency address is therefore perfectly acceptable,

You are both correct that the Land Registry has the benefit of securing your property against fraudsters providing you complete the necessary application. There is an additional facility for buy to let landlords. However, it involves safety precautions and preventative measures in regards to the name on the deeds being changed without your express consent or a solicitors agreement but it does not allow for a landlords name to be witheld from a tenant.

The Law is quite clear that it states the Landlords name MUST be present & that an address in England and Wales MUSt be present to enable notices etc to be served on the Landlord. Land registry cannot override the law and current written law can only be changed by strict procedures initiated through Parliament.

The Landlord would be breaking the law by ommitting his NAME from the Agreement which may result in severe consequences and jeopodise the tenancy and even the rent payable.

Section 48 provides the landlord with the option to keep his/her address private providing an alternative is given BUT there must be a name and address.

I would not want any Landlord reading the earlier comments and getting the wrong idea.

Mark Alexander

13:06 PM, 6th September 2013
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "lauren field" at "06/09/2013 - 12:26":

You are clearly very experienced Lauren, it would be great if you would add some detail to your member profile so that we can learn more about you, even better if you would join the GOOD Landlords Campaign (upgrade via your member profile) and perhaps you may wish to volunteer to help on The GOOD Landlords Campaign Steering committee - please see >>> http://www.property118.com/good-landlords-campaign-board-of-directors/43076/

I don't know who Donna is by the way, I only have contact via email. I do know that she's following this thread though.

lauren field

13:46 PM, 6th September 2013
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "06/09/2013 - 13:06":

Hi Mark

Thanks, I am pretty busy hence not completed member profile. i thought my time was better spent trying to offer some genuine advice but I promise to do it when I get a moment & I will of course take a look at the GOOD landlord campaign also.

Landlord and Tenant Law is very complex and can become overwhelming so any advice i offer is generally as a result from first hand experience and I will always ensure i am offering correct advice as opposed to I thinks

But yes I will certainly update my member profile shortly

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