23-11-2005, 19:49 PM
Further to my earlier posting (sloppy and unprofessional letting agent) I need some advice please quickly….
I called into the letting agent today to collect my spare set of keys t o find they hadn’t got them – they were with the gardener who did some work last Wednesday – they said they’ll send them by recorded delivery asap.
We then discussed rent arrears and return of or reimbursement for my possessions taken by the tenant and, this is the thing which I need advice on, – the letting agent said that after all cleaning and gardening etc plus rent was deducted from the deposit I would probably owe them, the letting agent about £50 – he told me this by voicemail on my mobile, surely this isn’t right?? I am out of pocket for petrol, phonecalls, time and patience etc etc
24-11-2005, 23:50 PM
I shall try and respond to both of your questions/threads as best I can(in future please edit your post or reply to your existing thread....no need for two threads!). However, I warn you the answer is not what you will want to hear.
Difficult to make a comprehensive reply when the question is spread out like yours, so shall answer in brief thoughts:
- Your LA hasn't actually, IMO, behaved all that badly. Yes, in certain respects, it appears they have been somewhat lax, but I really believe your gripe is with your tenants, not your LA. I can appreciate your anger, but I believe it is more because they are not telling you what you want to hear, and also because they are the only ones answerable now your tenants have buggered off!
- Yes, you probably will owe them money. LA's have a managing fee to manage the property. This does not cover your loss if the tenants do a runner leaving the property in a poor state and taking items. You still have to pay for any maintenance, repairs etc...your fee covers the cost of them arranging it and collecting rent etc.
- There is no "extended AST". Once an AST expires, it automatically continues onto a periodic tenancy, which is the "month by month" tenancy your LA describes. So there would be nothing to show you, as no new contract will have been drawn up.
- Complaints wise, you can only really complain if they are a member of a professional body, such as ARLA or NAEA. If you believe they have breached their agreement with you in some fashion(your legally binding written contract) then this is an issue to take up at small claims. However at first glance they do not appear to have done so.
- Your insurance issue is neither here nor there. Your problem with this is with the insurance company not the LA. If the LA insist you go with this insurance company, you check the policy, ensure it is suitable, then agree. Otherwise do not proceed with either the insurance company or the LA - if you have done so without checking this, then this is no-ones fault but your own I'm afraid.
- If indeed they performed inadequate or non existant checks on the tenants, and such checks are part of your WRITTEN CONTRACT, then a lot of the above can be discounted, as they will have been negligent, and as such will be responsible for a large part of your loss. However, first of all a lot of landlords jump to this conclusion when something goes wrong, and need to realise this - GOOD REFERENCES DO NOT GUARANTEE A GOOD TENANCY. It is very easy to jump to this conclusion, with no grounds whatsoever. Also, bear in mind there is a massive difference between having your doubts about their credit checks, and proving this in a small claims court, which is the only place it matters.
Apologies for both the tone and content of this post....I realise that you are, at least to an extent, the victim in this. However, your issue is with the tenant, and my tone is to enable you to realise that this is a problem you must learn from for future reference when choosing letting agents - this also makes you partly at fault, for not performing adequate checks on the LA. You also must realise that unless a letting agent has been negligent, they are NOT responsible for your financial losses!
25-11-2005, 10:36 AM
Thanks for your reply, I take what you say - i realise i'll have to put it down to a bad experience - it seems to me that there are so many grey areas that its hard to pin them down. I feel fobbed off by the LA and frustrated by their lack of communication and have often felt like its been a case of get any tenant in to grab the management fee and be damned with the customer.
I do doubt that financial checks were carried out I challenged the LA on this and he denied it - Only yesterday was there a county court judgement in the post for them for non payment of water rates (the letter was partly open).
I went with what i knew was a reputable company - it used to be the best one in the town but it seems like having recently been bought out by countrywide they have gone downhill.
Anyway my next hurdle is selling my house - so fingers crossed....
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