Let down badly by letting agents

by Readers Question

9:34 AM, 9th May 2016
About 2 years ago

Let down badly by letting agents

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Let down badly by letting agents

We feel we have been badly let down by our letting agents.let down

Despite engaging letting agents to manage our home, our house has been left in the most appalling condition. The tenants left owing arrears (which, having paid an insurance to the agents, we have recouped) and we don’t know where they have gone.

The agents requested the court to recommend that the deposit of £950.00 be used as part-payment of the arrears – we had a guarantee that arrears would be re-paid. However the damage and general disgusting stat of the property will cost us more than the deposit would have been, yet we are receiving no refund of the deposit to help with these costs.

Despite asking, we have received no advice or help from the letting agents.

We are putting a complaint through their complaints procedure and hope that we will receive some redress – though I am not optimistic.

I wonder if anyone has any advice on how we could proceed and, hopefully, receive some redress from the agents

Many thanks

Penny



Comments

Neil Patterson

9:40 AM, 9th May 2016
About 2 years ago

Hi Penny,

This is an unfortunate situation that you and many Landlords have found themselves in. A house being trashed is one of those rare risks of being a landlord and I know from many landlords that sometimes no matter how careful you are you can get caught out.

I remember inspecting a property with Mark where the tenants had fled and left about £15,000 worth of damage (not a pretty state).

In business integrity is something you show when things go wrong, so it may not be the agents fault, but they should be there for you now it has happened.

Mark Lynham

12:10 PM, 9th May 2016
About 2 years ago

i would echoe Neils comments... it would also be easy to bash the letting agent but it is a risk business and whilst things like this rarely happen, sometimes it does, and obviously there are two sides to a story.

I have had one of my properties recently left where the tenant owed rent and i had to spend a couple of thousand putting the property right... she had been there for a few years and was very good until recently when something obvioulsy changed in her life...

My view was to just get the house back and get it ready for renting again...

Aramis Le Chien

15:58 PM, 9th May 2016
About 2 years ago

I, too found myself in the position you now find yourself in. So appalled was I by the state of my property once access to it was achieved I resolved not to allow the Lettings Agent to get away with it. Thankfully, I found a brilliant new agent who on gaining entry took numerous photos of the condition in which the property was left and then took pictures once full works were completed. I took the agents to court via the small claims court and was able to get some recompense this way. It is a relatively straightforward process, but learn from my error, I tried to get rent arrears reimbursed in addition to renovation costs and what the Judge herself said I should have asked for was a refund of their agency fees and this she said she would have looked at positively. I don't know the cost in terms of pounds you have lost but the small claims court will allow a claim of up to £10K. If you are successful then the Judge can also award you costs so your court fees will be refunded. In my case I live abroad and she ordered the Lettings Agency to pay these costs too. The other factors with regard to my being reimbursed were my diary entries, I made detailed notes of who at the agency I had spoken to and what they said they would do and was able to illustrate that they rarely did what they said they would and don't get me started on inspections! Non existent!! Permitted dogs to be kept at property, then said the state of the house was my fault as the property didn't attract the right sort of tenant!!!! Although they happily charged me a finders fee and other such fees! Altogether a horrid experience but one that had a positive outcome in that I now have the best Letting Agent in the world! I don't know where you are located but if you would like her details I will happily provide them as I cannot praise her and her Team highly enough as they provide simply a fantastic service.

Steve From Leicester

17:31 PM, 9th May 2016
About 2 years ago

Have you been badly let down by your letting agent, or have you just been unfortunate? Either scenario is possible.

Read the agent's terms of business (which you should have been given a copy of). Did they do everything they said they would do?

If a property is managed the agent will usually be responsible for taking up references, carrying out management visits at agreed intervals and so on.

If the agent said they'd do these things but failed to do so then you may have grounds for a complaint. If they've done everything they said they would, but you've still ended up with a bad tenant then you've been unfortunate. Whilst you may understandably feel annoyed and frustrated that you've done everything properly, employed and paid an agent yet still ended up with a problem tenant, the fact is that being a landlord comes with risks. No agent can give a 100% cast iron guarantee that you'll never get a problem tenant - anybody who says they can is lying.

As regards the rent insurance read the policy. It's likely you'll find there's a one month excess - its pretty standard - hence why the deposit is being used to offset this. The deposit could have been used to offset the damage to the property, but you'd then be a month's rent out of pocket so it's swings and roundabouts.

Penny Foster

16:40 PM, 14th May 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Aramis Le Chien" at "09/05/2016 - 15:58":

Thank you - have had a quick read - very helpful.


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