8:37 AM, 26th February 2014, About 8 years ago 13
We used a Letting Agency to source a tenant, the criteria was a working person, suitable for insurance to secure the rent monies, and that referencing materials to be passed to us prior to the tenancy so that any queries, if any, raised by us, could be addressed.
Tenant actually took occupation just before Christmas 2013, but i was unable to contact the agent over Christmas to as they were closed to see the referencing materials. It seems that the tenant was not on the electoral role, but the referencing agency, FCC Paragon, stated that this was OK since they had found him using other sources, Equifax I believe.
Long story short, after first month, no rent, unable to make contact with the tenant, fails to return calls, I make a claim with FCC Paragon.
I then find that the property is being used for the propagation of cannabis, and the property is absolutely wrecked, holes in walls for ventilation equipment etc. I did visit the property to see if I could get in, but no answer, although tell-tale condensation inside suggesting large heat and water use.
My question is; Does the letting agent or referencing company have a duty of care to the landlord to properly reference the tenant?
The High Court Smeaton case suggests that referencing agencies do not have an absolute duty of care, however I feel that this tenancy could have been avoided if proper questions were asked, questions that were obvious, bank accounts etc.
I invite your comments.
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