Is agent in breach of contract for not telling me a tenant had moved in?

by Readers Question

3 years ago

Is agent in breach of contract for not telling me a tenant had moved in?

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Is agent in breach of contract for not telling me a tenant had moved in?

A managing agent I contracted to let out and manage my flat still, four days later, has not sent me notification that tenants moved into my flat on 4th August. They have not sent me copies of the signed tenancy agreement, or the call

After much chasing on the phone, with my phone calls not being returned, I spoke to the Lettings Manager who confirmed that tenants moved in on 4th August, and that notification had been emailed to me, but this is not the case, and still isn’t the case. I knew that tenants had been found and references were being waited for, but not that the tenancy had started.

I don’t think there is anything in my Agreement with the Letting Agent about them keeping me informed, but is this not understood? Is it not a legal requirement? Also, it was with much difficulty that I was able to get the names of the tenants out of the agent.

Am I also not entitled to know the names of their employers? And their guarantor’s employer? I feel I would like to transfer to a different managing agent because of the great difficulty in communication with this agent, but the contract specified a month or so rent to be paid to them in order to terminate the Agreement. But the question is: are they in breach of contract for not keeping me informed? Surely one needs to know if people are living in your flat! As a result, I wasn’t in a position to notify the insurance company or the freeholder.



Neil Patterson

3 years ago

Hi Marilyn,

The good news is that your property is now let and I am assuming nothing disastrous happened while you were not insured.

Have you asked them to send a copy of the sent email to you?

It may be difficult to get out of the contract now, but as you have not received the service you would expect it would be best to vote with your feet and use another agent next time.

Please see our partner company LettingSupermarket who offer full management at 4% >>

Teg's Dad

3 years ago

Marilyn, Is this the first time that you have used this agent? I suspect that this is the first time you have used them.

To be blunt, not many landlords want to know as much information as you do. Many prefer to know that the tenants have been referenced satisfactorily and credit checked. Also depending on their referencing process, it may be that there is no agreement for the tenants' application details to be disclosed to you without them being in breach of Data Protection.

As Neil suggests, ask your agent to forward a copy of the email.

Without sight of the agreement between you and the agent, it is not possible to see whether they are in breach of the contract.

I'm an agent.

If the landlord of a managed property asks for all of the information you've described I'll happily send it to him or her.

However, I don't send it unless they ask for it, because few landlords want it. Most of my "managed" landlord clients want to simply hand their property over to trusted professionals and leave us to get on with it.

I do stress though that if a landlord wants to know all the ins and outs he / she should be told - after all they are the owner of the property. Your agent should get his finger out and send you the information you've asked for pronto.

As for whether your agent is in breach of contract for not keeping you informed, hard to say without sight of the terms of business. However, bear in mind that you've paid an agent to "manage" the property, and "manage" means that within certain parameters the agent can use his professional judgment to make decisions on your behalf.

You employed him to let and manage the property. If he's done that, to tenants who meet any previously agreed criteria he's probably not in breach of his contract with you, even if you've found his communication skills to be lacking.

Teg's Dad

3 years ago

Well put, Steve.

I used to work for an agent and their attitude was "We are managing agents and we will manage. We do not need to consult the landlord". A very arrogant attitude that I disagreed with. I then set up my own agency which does manage, but also consults and NEVER forgets who actually owns the property!

Graham Bowcock

3 years ago

Sounds like this is not going to be a long term relationship! It doesn't seem like they have done anything wrong necessarily but they have missed the fact that you are the client and they have not dealt with your requirements. As some others have said clients come in all shapes and sizes - in our agency we mainly deal with investors who have no day to day interest and just wait for the money to hit their bank account each month. We would not routinely pass on the sort of information which you are looking for.

We do, however, send our landlords a letting report once we have accepted an application so they can see what the deal is (e.g. rent agreed, length of tenancy, any furniture to be removed, etc.).

Just out of interest why do you have to pass on the tenant's details to your freeholder and insurer? Don't you just have to inform them that the property is let? If tenants change frequently you will have to remember to notify them on each occasion. Can you not get a blanket acknowledgment?

Dr Rosalind Beck

3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Teg's Dad" at "10/08/2015 - 15:04":

Hi Teg's Dad.
As you are a letting agent, do you think you would have some luck publicising the petition against the proposed 'tax relief' restriction? This is very important for many of us on Property118 and it would be great if you could publicise it among letting agents, through any networks you are in. And ask whoever you contact to contact others, so it has a knock-on effect. Some of us haven't had much luck getting letting agents to respond.
The link (in case you haven't been reading the thread on this) is:

Teg's Dad

3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ros ." at "10/08/2015 - 23:32":

We are about to email our client landlords about the smoke/carbon monoxide alarms changes and will include this link.

Dr Rosalind Beck

3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Teg's Dad" at "13/08/2015 - 14:45":

Thanks Teg's Dad. That's great.

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