Help with making a stand?

by Readers Question

13:56 PM, 25th July 2017
About A year ago

Help with making a stand?

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Help with making a stand?

Hi Guys, I am an overseas landlord. I used the services of a letting agent to fully manage my properties, and they were just awful! Needless to say I have now left them and found another agent.

I went to the Ombudsman to complain (Ombudsman Services – Property) of which the letting agent are a member, and they, on reviewing my complaint, requested the letting agent offered a small amount of compensation. However it was not nearly enough to cover my losses, so I rejected this. Also I felt the Ombudsman never fully understood some of the issues and actually defended the letting agent. eg the letting agent was charging commission of contractors invoices, but not declaring this up front. The Ombudsman defended this saying it was an admin fee to the contractor despite me showing them an email the letting agent sent to me admitting it was commission. Plus I feel this agent was so bad, I need to make a stand for other landlords, so they don’t have to go through what I did!

I have sought some legal advice that says write to the agent stating why you rejected the Ombudsman’s decision and list what their incompetence/breach of contract has cost you. I am in the process of doing this, but its quite difficult in some instances to put values to their errors. I was also advised to mention the consequences of the letting agent not reaching some sort of agreement with me, but not to mention taking them to court at this stage. Again I am struggling with this. All I can think of saying is ‘I have seen bad reviews on websites about them and was hoping we could reach some sort of mutually satisfactory agreement so that I would not have to add to these and to stop me taking matters any further’ – hint, hint – court.

They are also members of ARLA so I could also threaten going to them.

However I am not sure this is threatening enough as I have heard rumour they are in the process of selling the business due to the owners ill health, so I don’t know whether they, or the new owners, will care whether I threaten them with bad reviews, ARLA or court action.

So any advice/suggestions on what I could add or what I should do next would be most appreciated!

Lou



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