I fired my letting agent because …

by Readers Question

18:06 PM, 5th February 2013
About 6 years ago

I fired my letting agent because …

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I fired my letting agent because …

I fired my letting agent because ...We have an interesting situation and I would greatly value the advice of Property118 readers.

Our property has five bedrooms. A few months ago we had four tenants, all new at the time. Nothing wrong so far, however …

Recently we found out that the managing agent installed a fifth tenant in our property for 2 weeks whilst another property he was managing and/or renovating was being completed.

We were not informed by the managing agent, our permission was not sought and no offer of financial compensation was made even though they were charging the tenant.

What do you think are the legal, moral and financial issues this situation poses?

Needless to say they are not acting as our managing agent at this point!

Mark Hartell



Comments

19:30 PM, 5th February 2013
About 6 years ago

Morally, it's wrong without doubt.
Legally, it depends what the contract you signed with them states. Letting agent contracts vary greatly and you may have unwittingly given them more latitude than you intended.
Financially, it again depends on what terms you signed up to. If they have breached the terms of their contract, you have grounds to take action
Whatever the case, it's sharp practice, not in the spirit of 'doing the best for a landlord' and I'd say you've made the right decision in ending your time with them.

19:30 PM, 5th February 2013
About 6 years ago

Morally, it's wrong without doubt.
Legally, it depends what the contract you signed with them states. Letting agent contracts vary greatly and you may have unwittingly given them more latitude than you intended.
Financially, it again depends on what terms you signed up to. If they have breached the terms of their contract, you have grounds to take action
Whatever the case, it's sharp practice, not in the spirit of 'doing the best for a landlord' and I'd say you've made the right decision in ending your time with them.

19:30 PM, 5th February 2013
About 6 years ago

Morally, it's wrong without doubt.
Legally, it depends what the contract you signed with them states. Letting agent contracts vary greatly and you may have unwittingly given them more latitude than you intended.
Financially, it again depends on what terms you signed up to. If they have breached the terms of their contract, you have grounds to take action
Whatever the case, it's sharp practice, not in the spirit of 'doing the best for a landlord' and I'd say you've made the right decision in ending your time with them.

Chris Sheldon

23:36 PM, 5th February 2013
About 6 years ago

They've acted without your permission, as bristolwideproperty has said it depends on the terms you signed with them.

However, have you benefitted financially from the occupation of this tenant? If there is financial gain to yourselves and all legal documentation is drawn up correctly it could be seen as they are acting in your interest.

Simply put if you are unhappy, then you've made the right decision to move agents, however financial compensation would be dependent on the signed terms and any increase in income you may have received.

15:29 PM, 6th February 2013
About 6 years ago

Looking at this another way - the agent may have (depending on your Local Authority and how they interpret the rules) may have put you into an HMO 5 persons/3 floors area (which you may well have been trying to avoid) Was the room let on an all inclusive rate? (ie you have also not received rent but have also paid for heat and light for your additional tenant) Very shabby practice!

18:34 PM, 6th February 2013
About 6 years ago

As an agent, I can honestly say that I find the activity outlined here outrageous. As Ian points out, if your property is over three floors, your agent has made the property a statutory HMO which would in effect make you criminally liable under the housing act 2004 for failing to apply for a license. If it is not, your lender may have restrictions on how the property is let (it would be interesting to see under what costruct the 5th tenant was afforded access to your property) Your landlord insurance could well have been compromised if, in the event of some catastrophe, the investigator discovered that there was some-one living at the property who had no legal right to be there. Your ex-agent is clearly a cowboy, and if they are a member of the ombudsman scheme, you should make a formal cxomplaint. Agents who conduct themselves with such flipant regard for their clients best interests, and so blatently flout all best practice are a blight on the PRS landscape and should be hung out to dry! Rant over...........

23:49 PM, 6th February 2013
About 6 years ago

It's idiot agents like these that get the rest of us a bad name,the problems they could have caused!

10:47 AM, 7th February 2013
About 6 years ago

Mark, from experience read your contract as already suggested. Contract law wins all day long.

I fired my letting agent as managing agent as they didn't manage the property at all and as for informing me as owner? they simply didn't have to. I had signed a contract to say so. (I learnt from the experience to self manage & keep control)

My experience was being taken to court for loss of commission and I lost.

Morality is ok but the law is something else. Yes landlords are responsible for the actions of our letting agents so yes you are right to question their actions.


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