Letting Agents are they right or wrong?

Letting Agents are they right or wrong?

10:34 AM, 29th August 2014, About 7 years ago 22

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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

by All BankersAreBarstewards Smith

11:51 AM, 31st August 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Rudolph Banton" at "31/08/2014 - 10:16":

""letting agents maintenance scheme" - this might be ringing alarm bells for me... do the agents by any chance have their own maintenance company who do all the repairs ? If so, methinks their markups on standard maintenance costs will be high. How much do they charge you for a landlords gas safety certificate for example ? What is their monthly % fee ?

by Rob Crawford

20:57 PM, 31st August 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Rudolph Banton" at "31/08/2014 - 10:44":

Hi Rudolf, unfortunately there are only minimal laws relating to how letting agents conduct their business. October 2014 sees the first law that requires agents to join a redress scheme with one of the Government approved Ombudsman. For your current agent I would suggest you ask for a copy of their complaints process and then complain formally through that route. Agents that are voluntarily members of ARLA, NALS & UKALA subscribe to a letting agents code of conduct that requires them to have client money protection accounts, Indemnity insurance and membership with an ombudsman. These agents will provide you with a terms of business and should act in a professional manner. If the agent is not a member of any such organisation then they are able to conduct their business as they see fit. So search out a local ARLA, NALS or UKALA agent, I am sure they will advise on how best to deal with your issues and how you can sever your relationship with your current letting agent. If your current agents are already a member of ARLA, NALS or UKALA then you must use their redress scheme to make a formal complaint. As far as landlord responsibilities are concerned, unfortunately these cannot be diminished through the incompetence of a letting agent - you need to understand what to expect from them and routinely check that they are meeting your requirements. If there is any help that I can give you please do give me a call.

by Farah Stehrenberger

9:37 AM, 5th September 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Rudolph Banton" at "31/08/2014 - 10:26":

Hi Rudolph

I am afraid, currently you cannot evict your tenant because you are not the Landlord on the tenancy agreement.

If the tenant is in arrears, that would be your loss which was caused by the Landlord’s incompetence.

I would suggest not to get rid of the agent (if you haven’t done that) until you have acquired the right to evict the tenants from them. If you have, not to worry, they should still transfer the right to you as you are the property owner.

I think Mark sent you a link to contact me or send me any documents, if you follow that link, I would reply with my details.

by Rudolph Banton

11:46 AM, 5th September 2014, About 7 years ago

Hi Farah,

Thank you! The Letting Agents did say I had to pay £280 to evict the tenant in court, and that they are doing me a favour. Is this down to me? I am still with them better the devil you know!

The tenant is not the person viewed the flat. When I raised this with the letting agents through emails they don't respond. I don't think they did any checks on this tenants and I am not sure the tenants name is correct? This month this tenant will be £1345 in arrears.

This Monday another tenant will be in arrears by £2800 and a previous tenant left without any forwarding address and took the keys with £1400 unpaid?

Regards

Rudolph.

by Farah Stehrenberger

11:55 AM, 5th September 2014, About 7 years ago

£280 is the court fee

It is good that you wrote them an e-mail about your concerns, would be used in evidence.

Rather than paying them £280 to start the process, I would ask them to transfer the right to you so that you can evict the tenants and recover the arrears. That way you can keep an eye on the court process to make sure everything is done properly.

Do you have a written agreement with the agent, does it say that you would pay any court fees on top of their management fee etc?

by Rudolph Banton

12:00 PM, 5th September 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "All BankersAreBarstewards Smith" at "31/08/2014 - 11:51":

Hi Smiths

Re: Letting Agents Maintenance Scheme and Gas Certificates: Two bed flats Electric only £20.00 per month. Three beds house Electric and Gas £30.00 per month. Gas certificates included. £140 yearly for rent guarantees.

Regards

Rudolph.

by All BankersAreBarstewards Smith

12:11 PM, 5th September 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Rudolph Banton" at "05/09/2014 - 12:00":

Hi Rudolf... and what evidence do you have that this money has been spent on your property ? invoices/maintenance reports ?

A landlords gas certificate will cost £45-£90 (providing you are not having a service at the same time and that no parts are needed) depending on which part of the country you are in.... this is an annual cost.

I can think of no reason whatsoever for a monthly electric cost....

Unless they have subbied it all out to someone like British GAs.... for example ... there are several large firms who run annual maintenance schemes....

my money is on my gut instinct - that much of this maintenance money is going into the agents trouser pocket.....

Ask them for invoices....... Find out if they really are spending this money on your property.....

I know you are scared to move agents.... but staying with these beggars will simply drain more and more and more of your money.... - they have already lost thousands of pounds for you ........

which part of the world are you in.... lets see if the 118 community can find a good reputable local agent for you......

bw

by Farah Stehrenberger

12:16 PM, 5th September 2014, About 7 years ago

Yes do ask them for invoice and evidence of where they have been spending the money.

by Rudolph Banton

16:37 PM, 5th September 2014, About 7 years ago

Hi Smiths,

Seems I have many questions to asked. Thank you! I am in Essex.

Regards

Rudolph.

by Rudolph Banton

16:44 PM, 5th September 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Farah Stehrenberger" at "05/09/2014 - 12:16":

Hi Farah,

I will ask for the transfers as you have said and starts eviction process. Yes...these invoices I have requested before but never seen to hand! I will request them again.

Many thanks!

Regards

Rudolph.


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