Letting Agents are they right or wrong?

by Readers Question

4 years ago

Letting Agents are they right or wrong?

Make Text Bigger
Letting Agents are they right or wrong?

With my work pensions lump sum we invested in some new build properties with mortgages to enhance our incomes. We got a local letting agents to let the properties and to manage. One of the new properties rented to a couple with two children, other than the first months rent, they started to pay late and other times not. We made an appointment through the letting agent and; ‘complained about rent arrears’ to visit the property, there were repair works needed doing after approx 4 months letting. Letting Agents are they right or wrong?

On entering we noticed letters on the floor, there were letters with other names, not who we agreed to rent the property. We could not believe a new property could be so filthy: magnolia painted walls were all filthy dirty, carpets filthy from top to bottom with oil marks in carpets on stairs, and in all rooms, kitchen filthy with door peeling, cooker never cleaned, all windows closed as if never opened, raw sewage visible in toilets, toilet seat off! We reported all back to the letting agent, they did nothing until the tenants decided to leave.

The whole place had to be redecorated with windows left opened, carpets had to be foam cleaned; from their deposits. Letting Agent said they left without any forwarding address, and they have not returned the keys. We were told by the letting agents we had to pay to changedthe locks on the doors. We paid. They left owing one months rent. Again the letting agents told us we had to pay to find them if we need our money back. We paid, they were found. Now we are waiting to see what actions the letting agent will take to get our money back!!

The next tenants came along and we were told by the letting agents she was fostering three children and she paid two months deposit. The first months rent was paid but ever since only a quarter of the rent has been paid. We asked to visit the tenant who moved in June 2014. She says she told the letting agents she will not be fostering until September 2014 and she’s not sure if she will be given the go ahead to foster! We asked the letting agents why; they said this is not what she said to us. The letting agent gets paid to check to ensure affordability before letting our property?

The same letting agents let a new build flat for us. The lady that viewed the flat while we were present, said her brother and his wife they lived with, has parted and they are selling the property and this flat is ideal for she and her two children. After a while, with loud noises coming from the flat, we were asked by neighbours to whom we had rented the flat? Shocked when we asked to visit the flat and see another person in the flat with her son. The letting agent has not given us any answers but only asked to allow her to stay. This was June 2013. She only paid her rent on time in full four times. When the first year was up the letting agents begged us to let her stay and moved her rent payments from the 17th of the month to the end, and said that if she failed to pay her rent again we will evict her! She has failed to pay her rent again and we asked the letting agents to evict her as promised? Now the letting agents are saying they cannot evict her without us paying £280 for them to help us to take the matter to court? This letting agent is never wrong? We are owed approx, £5,800 in rent arrears and the letting agents never once take any responsibility, but take £140 out our account without asking for rent guarantors for the flat.

We wrote a letter to the tenants in the flat August 8th 2014 explaining why we would like them to leave and copied it to the letting agents, we believe they went round and explain their rights and I think she will not be moving out? Simply put at this rate we are finding it difficult to meet our bills and mortgage obligations. This we have explained to the letting agents many times! They said they are not getting paid either! Have landlords any rights in this case?

Rudolph Banton



Comments

Mark Alexander

4 years ago

Hi Rudolph

From what you have said, at best your letting agents have been incompetent. You may even be dealing with charlatans!

You certainly have the right to find another agent. To understand what a good agent should be doing for you please see >>> http://www.property118.com/property-management-checklist/67891/

I recommend you seek legal advice about suing them for damages caused to you as a result of their incompetence - see >>> http://www.property118.com/member/?id=3380

Given the level of damages that may be forthcoming I suspect Farah will be happy to consider a no-win-low-fee arrangement. In legal terms this is known as a discounted conditional fee agreement. This is where the lawyer/advocate takes a small payment to cover expenses and then shares the risks of litigation with you. In other words, the lawyer/advocate only makes and decent money if you win your case. In circumstances like this the lawyer would take a share of the damages recovered.

I can't speak for Farah on whether she would take you case on this basis but it will cost you nothing to find out.
.

Sack these utterly incompetent agents..... go to a solicitor yourself and get him/her to serve a Section 8 notice Immediately and get them out £5k in rent arrears is outrageous.... as is the behaviour of these agents...

I think you have been conned by agents who knew you were new to the property business.... Take things in hand, read all about being a landlord, learn your rights and responsibilities.

Did your agent take deposits from your tenants ?
Have they had gas safety certificates done for your properties and do the tenants have copies ?

Hi Rudolph

I am sorry to hear about your situation. I agree with Mark's comments above.

Who is the landlord on the tenancy agreement, you or the agent? Some agents do put themselves as the landlord. If the agent is on the tenancy agreement, you cannot serve any valid notice straight away.

Please send me a message to determine whether and how we can help you to recover your money, either directly from the agent or on indemnity basis.

I would need to have a look at the tenancy agreements please.

Rob Crawford

4 years ago

Rudolph, wake up!! Its quite clear your agents are not doing the job you have contracted them to do, and your still putting properties their way!! Why? Sever the contract and employ a new agent (get some referrals from happy landlords first).

Nigel Fielden

4 years ago

Hi Rudolph - as above posters have said, your agent is totally useless and you need to find a new one who's trusted by other people.

However, I'm sorry to have to say this but you've gone into this property business without any knowledge of your own, so you're totally dependent on what your agent does and says to you.

I'm wondering how you decided which properties to buy, in what areas etc. This will have a big effect on the type of tenants you can attract and they way they behave.

I strongly suggest you go on some courses about buy to let, to build up your knowledge. Especially a course on Possession. You may not want to manage the properties yourself, but at least you will know whether your agent is giving you good or bad information.

An easy way to get access to courses is to join one of the landlord associations such as the NLA or RLA.

Good luck - i hope you can get things under control quickly.

Rudolph Banton

4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "29/08/2014 - 10:43":

Hi Mark,

Your comments are right. The letting agents do act as landlord, they have not explained the difference. They just took charge and are completely ignorant of their failures.

Regards

Rudolph.

Rudolph Banton

4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "All BankersAreBarstewards Smith" at "30/08/2014 - 08:21":

Hi Smiths,

Thank you for your comments! The properties rented, rent deposits has been paid and gas certificates are inplace, including letting agents maintenance scheme. I will find out what can be done legally against this letting agent.

Regards

Rudolph.

Rudolph Banton

4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Farah Stehrenberger" at "30/08/2014 - 08:35":

Hi Farah,

Thank you for responding! The letting agents act as landlord. I have not signed any letting agreement. Has the letting agents caused any damage? Can I get rid of the lady from the flat? Should letting agent explain the difference, them being landlord or the owners of the properties?

I will send copies of rental agreement via email if possible?

Regards

Rudolph.

Rudolph Banton

4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Rob Crawford" at "30/08/2014 - 18:29":

Hi Rob,

Thank you! Thought letting agents would act according to the laws of renting. My horror they didn't do any checks on some tenants, it turns out they are the ones not able to pay their rent. Now it seems they are ignorant of their own failures I paid for!

Regards

Rudolph.

Rudolph Banton

4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Nigel Fielden" at "30/08/2014 - 20:58":

Hi Nigel,

Tell me about it and they are trying to blame us! Very mis-leading this letting agent. Before buying the properties we knew we were able to rent within seven days from our local rags. On the houses we were able to get 25k off each and 17k off each of the flats. In my views now with the flats service charges are a total rip-off!

Regards

Rudolph.

1 2 3

Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

OR

BECOME A MEMBER

Respond now or get 3 year tenancies!

The Landlords Union

Become a Member, it's FREE

Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents

Learn More