Am I in my legal right to demand rent be paid directly to me?

Am I in my legal right to demand rent be paid directly to me?

11:41 AM, 27th March 2017, About 5 years ago 14

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I have a dispute with the letting agent which is being handled by the Ombudsman. I have written to the letting agent to inform the manager that I am terminating business with them and releasing the agency from all management duties.

I wrote to the tenant to ask him to pay the rent directly to me but he said that the agency has told him otherwise.

Am I in my legal right to demand rent be paid directly to me?

Also, when I informed the letting agent that I have referred our dispute to the Ombudsman and that I will respect their decision whichever it goes, unfortunately the agent’s response was a threat: “pay three times rent value plus VAT within seven days or we will refer the matter to a debt collection agency”!

The dispute is precisely over this charge which I have never agreed to and over the management fee increase (50%).

After speaking to the Ombudsman they seem to think that I have a fair case and they will look into it, but I am faced with a brick wall type of agency unwilling to listen to my grievance or accept the Ombudsman as a mediator.

How do you deal with such stubborn attitude? I want to leave court sanction as a last resort. The agency has changed names since they came into business in 2006 which I am wondering why and it has been run by the same manager who is as stubborn as one can be.

I am happy with the tenant and do not want him to be caught in the middle of the dispute.

Legal advice of where every party stands will be highly appreciated.

Louisa



Comments

Graham Bowcock

21:30 PM, 27th March 2017, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Louiza " at "27/03/2017 - 21:15":

Louiza

The relevant notice is under s48 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987.

I don't have one I could provide, but you'll soon get one with a bit of Googling.

Graham

louisaa91@gmail.com

21:46 PM, 27th March 2017, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Bill O'Dell" at "27/03/2017 - 17:26":

Hi Bill! The Tenancy Agreement states that the rent can be paid to Landlord or Letting Agency. I cannot move a tree, nevermind a mountain, that is why I am here trying to get some advice from you folks! The tenant is not even prepared to share his telephone number with me as the agency has made it a condition that no contact between landlord and tenant must take place.

H B

21:13 PM, 28th March 2017, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Louiza " at "27/03/2017 - 21:29":

"The one-page document I signed is under one company name but the so-called brochure is under another. The so-called agreement (one page) I was sent by email and signed does not mention the terms of business."

What exactly was in this one-page document? This may well be your contract, even if you do not appreciate what you were signing. Perhaps it loosely refers to their "standard terms and conditions", which you are now bound to. These may state that rent must be paid to them and have some other onerous conditions.

Another possibility is that the agent is charging the tenant a higher rent than he has disclosed to you and does not want this brought out into the open.

Kate Mellor View Profile

16:38 PM, 30th March 2017, About 5 years ago

If I was in your position I would write to the tenant and explain that unless he follows your instructions to make his rent payments directly to you, you will have no alternative than to issue him with notice to end the tenancy. Enclose a valid section 21 notice and advise your tenant to seek advice from either Shelter or the Citizens Advice Bureau. Provide full instructions as to the account he should pay all future rent payments to. Don't hesitate. This is your property and the tenant needs to be given some motivation to get the necessary information from the agencies that can reassure him that you have a valid claim on the rent money. You will need to take advice on the legal details such as which version of the notice you will need to serve (this will depend on the date the tenancy started, or was last renewed) and the proof of service notice to fill in and how best to serve the notice so that you have proof of service. I would advise that you join the RLA who can advise you on the section 21 process and the issue you are experiencing at present. The annual fee is around £80 per year.

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