Government forcing landlords to house non-paying tenants for lengthy periods11:18 AM, 15th September 2020
About 5 days ago 39
After deciding to move in with a long-term girlfriend and not wanting to give up my own property, I decided to allow a local high street agent, who are ARLA regulated, to let and manage the property for me. This is the second tenant who is now in arrears.
They have stopped paying rent as they say that the property is in state of disrepair and the Agent advised them that I refused to carry out repairs due to arrears, I have insurance to cover the repairs and that is causing a loss of earnings in excess of the monthly rental amount.
The Agent issued a possession order and here are just a few of the their defence claims : –
1. Not provided safety certificates by landlords agent at tenancy start. The agent sent a workman 9 days before sending papers to court to do a Gas Safety Certificate, they refused entry as the man had no ID. They suggest the Gas Cert is fake and Gas Safe are now investigating.
2. A list of repairs, most importantly, one of the safety valves is defective, and is constantly causing a discharge of water which has resulted in water and sewerage costs of over £4,000. They suggest that the Agent was aware as they have a letter from water supplier advising that the Agent did not give a final reading for previous tenants which they undertake to do.
3. For the first eight weeks, had top up meter, but was not provided cards for meters, again duty of agent but they did not give final meter reading nor advise of a change in tenant. This was advised to the tenant after she had signed the contract, and furthermore was not given Agreement which they certain clauses are unfair.
4. The agent refused to provide landlords address within 21 days.
5. The agent does not clearly mention on any of their documentation their legal company name, trading address, service address and names of directors are different from ones registered at company house.
6. The agent told me initially they were the landlord but the contract is between myself and the tenant.
7. Only advised of fees after signing contract.
8. Breech of contract and code of practice.
9. Data Protection – agent emailed employer about arrears, which caused a loss of income of £400, has emails which have been forwarded to him by his employer.
10. Disrepair and harassment due to both agent, their employees and myself visiting the property. Both parties entering property using key without tenants consent and police were called by tenant on last occasion.
I am now beginning to have sleepless nights about this, I involved agents as I know that renting out a property can have problems. The agent is now saying I am to blame for many of the issues. I believe the counter is going to be a 5 figure sum. Is there anything I can do, on all points I have supporting documents etc.
Furthermore, the tenant advised me that I am responsible and they wrote to me (after paying for a search, also part of claim) advising me that I am responsible and that the agent is in fact ‘my agent’ and they have no control. I was so shocked when I received the letter, I went directly to the agent and they agreed to deal with the issues. This is now being used as evidence of my failure to remedy the situation.
I would be grateful for any advice or assistance at this late stage.
The evidence is stacked against the agent and myself, would a solicitor be able to defend such a counter-claim?
Thanks in advance
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