Debbie Prudhoe Prudhoe

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Thursday 8th August 2013

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Debbie Prudhoe Prudhoe

13:00 PM, 8th August 2013, About 8 years ago

Choosing the wrong letting agent could cost YOU thousands!

When we left the UK 5 years ago, we rented our house out through Smith & Jones Lettings in Market Deeping. The same tenant is still in situ. About 6 weeks ago, I had an email from Sharon Smith, saying she was bankrupt and that our keys would be left in an office in the village for us to collect. I tried to contact her without success - we are overseas so this just made things more difficult for us.
As our primary concern was to ensure the tenant still paid her rent, we asked another agent in Market Deeping to take over the management for us. A week later, they advised us that the tenant was concerned about her bond - she had been contacted by Sharon previously and told they were moving the bond to Smith & Jones account. To be honest, this is our first time renting our property, we did it in a hurry when our sale fell through and though it now seems gullible, we trusted the agents to handle the deposit and thought it was not our responsibility from the start.

Yesterday, we received an email from our agent saying the tenant has contacted them as follows...'she will be vacating the property at the end of August, middle of September at the latest; she has also informed me that she will not be paying any further rent, and that any rent due could be taken from the deposit.
As you are aware we do not have access to the deposit as this is an issue with Smith & Jones so you would have to liaise with Sharon on this issue if possible, we would have no further involvement.
As there is no inventory for us to compare the property to and no deposit for any monies to be deducted if necessary we will be unable to conduct the final inspection however from Tracey’s recent inspection the property has been kept in good order. '

The tenant hasn't given an end date, merely a suggestion of when she will be leaving. She won't pay any rent in the meantime; the house is part furnished and we never received an inventory from Smith & Jones so I'm concerned she could take furniture and we could do nothing about it; also damage to the property and outstanding bills could be an issue.

I understand she would have paid 6 week's rent as a bond. I'm sure we are liable to replace her bond if the agent's have taken it, so I am resigned to be 6 weeks rent out of pocket, but what about the other issues that may come up?

I'm desperate, stressed and file like it's all out of control.

I wondered if it would be a good idea if I paid the bond amount to the current agents ?

Can anyone offer me any advice please?
I'd be so grateful.... Read More