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Deedy1
22-12-2005, 12:27 PM
Hi there!

I can't find my original post on this subject, but will try to keep it as brief as possible. Six months ago we had major probs with underground pipe disintegration resulting in sewage overflow into our downstairs cloakroom sink and flooring. After contacting our managing agent, the LL claimed through his insurance and the workmen turned up to commence repair. This involved a lot of drilling underground and also the cloakroom floor. As one of the guys was about to complete the cloakroom floor and fill in the substantial hole, we noticed that he hadn't put back a damp proof membrane and asked him to do so. He said he didn't think it was necessary and proceeded to fill the hole in. We were concerned for the LL's property and immediately contacted the agent who started an investigation. The whole incident carried on for a further six months (effectively a three day job dragged on that long) with us having the loo stuck in the hallway and exposed soil pipes. Toward the end of the six months we wrote to our agents informing them that we would be deducting £5 per day from the length of time we had been unable to use the bathroom, from the following months rent, as nothing had happened for the six months which was ridiculous in our eyes. The LL agreed (verbally) and as the work was still ignored by the time the next month's rent came round, we deducted in total £905. We have heard no more about it until now.

The cowboys that carried out the work have offered a non-negotiable amount of £200 compensation, the LL, as a goodwill gesture has offered £200 but the managing agent have offered zilch.

We feel that the LL is not responsible for any of this as he was not even in the country at the time, and yet he is generous and appreciative enough to have offered us something. My question is, should the managing agent be held responsible and not the LL, after all they were dealing with the cowboys on a daily basis. Should they also have had a representative on site to oversee the works, as if we were "its not my house, couldn't care less" tenants, then the LL would have been stung with a bigger bill in future years when the damp had started to set in.

It really is not about the money, but the principle. Should the agent be allowed to get away with it?

By the way, within three days of us deducting the money from the rent, the works were completed after six months of waiting! Funny how that happens isn't it?

Any comments would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks

Deedy

Dingbat
22-12-2005, 12:57 PM
The landlord is not being generous, the letting agents are acting as his agents, and anything they do is ultimately on his behalf. If the agents have screwed up you must pursue the landlord for the money, he can, if they were negligent, pursue them in turn.

Deedy1
22-12-2005, 16:00 PM
Thanks Dingbat! Its put an interesting spin on things as we are approaching this whole issue by looking at the agents and the LL as two seperate entities, when in fact, as you rightly point out, the agents can do nothing without his say so. They have already accepted the offer from the cowboy outfit, with no input from us. The agents claim that they were in contact with the cowboys on a daily basis regarding the work, but surely if this was the case the works would have been completed long before six months? I consider the agents to be negligent, as anyone in their own home would not have allowed this situation drag on for that length of time, but because we are tenants, we are expected to put up and shut up.

The perverbial is going to hit the fan shortly then!

Thanks for your response!

Regards

Deedy

dazalock
22-12-2005, 16:22 PM
You have a contract with the LL, he must appease you. It is then upto the LL to take action against the agents as they have a contract with them, thats the way it works. If I were the LL, the agents would have been sacked a long time ago, not that I use agents.

Deedy1
22-12-2005, 16:32 PM
We meet again!

I agree. The best LL's we have had have been professionals owning several properties with no agents involved. From my perspective the agents simply screw the landlord and the tenant for as much money as they can get and do naff all. They call themselves managing agents but when you actually give them something to manage, it takes them six months to get it sorted!

Thanks for your input - I'll let you know what happens!

Kindest Regards

Deedy

MrShed
22-12-2005, 23:22 PM
You must pursue the landlord. You have no relationship with the agent whatsoever, the only relationships are between you and the landlord, and the agent and the landlord. Bear in mind that if the agent has been negligent, he will be able to claim such money back - and he needs to shoulder some responsibility for choosing a crap letting agent :p. With regards accepting the compensation, again, the "cowboys" have no relationship with you, only the agent, and so you have zippo say. However, this does not mean that if you are due compensation, that this amount will be dictated by what they have accepted from the builders, it is their fault if they settled low. Of course it is very difficult to figure out exactly how much compensation you would be entitled to, if any.