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SuefromCrewe
05-12-2011, 18:42 PM
As a new landlord due to being unable to sell my residentially mortgaged home, I asked an agent on what was required and instructed said agent to find me a suitable tenant.
One was put forward, along with a guarantor, which they checked through their appointed reference agency, sent the Deed of g'tor and the tenant a contract.

After several months of late payments etc I managed to get copies of the references and the tenant's contract from the agents.
She was to have signed a S/O form, but didn't, the reference said the g'tor was unsuitable due to CCJ of £5k+ and not earning enough. The tenant is a nightmare, causing problems for the neigbours and me, and it turns out they should have told me I needed permission from the mortgage company and the other co-signatures on the mortgage to rent the house out.
They have back heeled the problem, and don't want to know claiming I was okay with the tenant, and it's nothing to do with them.
Anyadvice?

Snorkerz
05-12-2011, 18:51 PM
As a new landlord due to being unable to sell my residentially mortgaged home, I asked an agent on what was required and instructed said agent to find me a suitable tenant.
One was put forward, along with a guarantor, which they checked through their appointed reference agency, sent the Deed of g'tor and the tenant a contract.

After several months of late payments etc I managed to get copies of the references and the tenant's contract from the agents.
She was to have signed a S/O form, but didn't, the reference said the g'tor was unsuitable due to CCJ of £5k+ and not earning enough.

I agree that this is a problem ad you may have gronds to sue for any provable consequential loss. You would, of course, have to mitigate any such loss by evicting the tenant at the earliest possibility.


it turns out they should have told me I needed permission from the mortgage company and the other co-signatures on the mortgage to rent the house out.This depends on what the agreement between yourself and the agent specified. Whilst I agree it would be the morally right thing to do, it is normal for you to pay an agent to let the property and possibly manage the property. I suspect landlord education doesn't feature heavily on the agency agreement :(

Is the tenant in breach of their contract in any way?
When does the tenants contract come to an end?

They have back heeled the problem, and don't want to know claiming I was okay with the tenant, and it's nothing to do with them.Did you agree to the tenant being allowed to rent the property? Did you ask to see the references before accepting the tenant?

SuefromCrewe
05-12-2011, 21:28 PM
Told agent I didn't know what I had to do and asked for all info needed. Told I had to have landlord insurance, gas and electric safety checks, notify utilities of change of user, get an inventory done, suitable decoration to appeal to majority of viewers (although recently decorated for sale),what to leave in, take out etc. They would show people around so I would not have to be there, their people would liaise with the referal agency and report back as the reports were confidential, arrange the contracts, moving dates, final readings and notify Council, TV licencing, Utilities etc at the relevant times.
I was basically told that they would do everything required, and ask all the relevant questions so I had nothing to worry about. Quote 'We have been doing this for years, we know what has to be done, so don't worry as it will all be in hand'.

Breaches of contract - not signed the S/O, which I wouldn't know as Agent was meant to be dealing with it.
Not paying rent on time EVER!
Causing distress to neighbours - noise, chucking used nappies onto their roof, screaming kids and/at kids for hours at a time, littering, revving engines more than needed.
Smoking in property against specific condition tht non-smoker tenant only, and stubbing ends out on UPVC window sills.
Identity theft - Mine, within the first month of moving in and ordered stuff out of a catalogue in my name to get over £800 of goods by fraud. Police took some of them away so she now has a Caution AKA Criminal Record Lite.
Causing or allowing damage to be caused to the property - kids loosened pipe to garden tap causing water leak in kitchen. Allowed kids to use gas fire as 'Post Box' and they shoved papers down the back, which was spotted on recent gas safety check. Fire capped off, engineer due to check if damaged.
House and gardens to be kept in good repair and clean - carpet was soaking on visit, covered in stains and 'only fit for ripping up and binning' per workmen whao have been. Couldn't go round rest of house but what they saw was dirty, shabby and will need redoing throughout the bits they saw.
The contract is for 12 months and is due to run out in March 2012. Who knows what thehouse will be like then.

Snorkerz
05-12-2011, 21:49 PM
Unfortunately, you do not have many options. Is there any rent unpaid at present? Have you served a section 21(1)(b) notice?

Unless the rent gets to 2 months worth unpaid (AND the tenancy agreement says you can use section 8, ground 8) then you have no real way of evicting them through the courts until after the end of the contract.

There is another option that one of our regulars will suggest - that is offering a payment in exchange for vacating - but you have to be very careful and you have to understand that the tenant may say no, so the payment would have to be big enough to make it worth her while.

This is obviously going to cause you a financial loss, and once you know ow big that loss is then you may be able to put together a claim against the agent for consequential loss. Could you answer the last question in my previous reply.

Mrs Mug
05-12-2011, 21:52 PM
it turns out they should have told me I needed permission from the mortgage company and the other co-signatures on the mortgage to rent the house out.

Have you now obtained consent to let from your mortgage provider?

SuefromCrewe
05-12-2011, 22:24 PM
I agreed to the tenant renting as they told me they had been given a good reference.
They did not mention that the g'tor they had been given by her had been found unsuitable by the reference agency.
I was not aware at the time they had witheld what would have been to me an essential piece of information on which to base my decision whether to rent to her or not.
I saw the references on both months down the line, when they told me that I had given her the OK despite it. AS IF! They tried to imply that because they had told me she was on Housing Benefit, I had sanctioned her moving in without a g'tor.
I didn't see the references because they said they were confidentitial, but in order. I only got to see them months later becasue I played Merry Heck with them over the phone and someone scanned them and e-mailed them down to me, which is when I found out.

I haven't yet been in touch with the mortgage provider, as when I told the Agent I hadn't done so, and sent them a copy of the letter I was going to give to the mortgage people to explain what had happened, and why, and ask for their help and permission after the event, they told me that as it was the weekend they would send a copy to their lawyers on the Monday to look over it, and get back to me with what should be done.

That was in August, and they still haven't given me a reply, but continue to take the management fees off me. Actually, the rent - when it arrives - is paid into their account, they take their cut and send me the rest.

I am going into the bank tomorrow with all the paperwork, and ask if they have had anything from the Agents, who were meant to be looking into it for me, and let them chase them up.
There must be some breach of their Code of Practice somewhere in all of this.

They still don't have the signatures from the other mortgagee giving their agreement to rent, or permission for it to be rented to this particular lodger on the contract.

On top of which - because the tenant has been such a pain to the neighbours with her antics, and this is (was) a very quiet neighbourhood I have been invited to go to the local Press office with the same paperwork on Wednesday for an interview about the agent, the tenant and the problems.
As long as I stick totally to the truth, and have the paperwork etc to back it up, will I be okay?

Ideally what I would like is for them to admit there was 'an oversight' (good cop out for them), that she should not have been placed there as I was not in a position to have permitted the rental, for them to refund the management fees and other expenses, make good the damage and pay for her to get out, or for her to be evicted.
If all, or any of that happens of their own volition, I will buy a ticket for the next Euro Lottery as I'm sure to have picked the winner.

Snorkerz
05-12-2011, 22:31 PM
Not much more to add, other than I would decline the press invitation. You may tell the truth, they may print the truth, but it may not sound like what you said.

SuefromCrewe
07-12-2011, 21:25 PM
Turns out that we have legal cover on our Insurance for the house we are in, and they are checking to see if we are covered for legal problems in general, or just if it affects this house.
Maybe that might be a great deal of help, especially as I've done a load of the legwork already.
I've got to check the insurance on the rented house too, as I did take out cover, but the paperwork went into the storage unit while we have the builders in incase it got misplaced in the upheaval of having all rooms being worked on at once.

SuefromCrewe
22-12-2011, 11:26 AM
Hello Snorkerz,
I most sincerely apologise if I have infringed any forum rules:(blush):. I did check first, but can't see anything about what to do.

I wanted to send a PM, but I need 15 posts before I can, and rather than dump posts at random I thought this might be easiest.
You may already have a PM here regarding this from someone on another forum you post advice on, who gave me your user name on here.

Again, I do apologise if I have broken the rules. If this needs to be deleted, and it counts as a 'Strick One', I accept that I was out of order.

Ericthelobster
22-12-2011, 11:47 AM
I most sincerely apologise if I have infringed any forum rules. I did check first, but can't see anything about what to do.I don't think anyone's going to shoot you! :D:

However, the only thing I would say is that you're almost always better off posting queries publically rather than PM'ing individuals (even if you're hoping a particular individual will respond).

Two reasons - first, it doesn't put any onus on the person to respond (after all, they are giving advice freely and may be too busy); secondly, because the responses are then visible to others who may be in a similar situation to you; and thirdly, because the responses are visible to all and sundry, in case you get a duff answer there's a very good chance that someone else will chime in and correct it before you act upon bad advice. (No disrespect intended to Snorkerz, who is certainly very clued up... this is just a general principle, and the reason forums work well!)

SuefromCrewe
22-12-2011, 11:53 AM
Thanks for the warning. It does make a lot of sense, as you say Snorkerz is very clued up, but someone else might have another slant on the problem.
It is only that IF (and a big IF) he is the same person who PM'd me on another website offering to give me some information from his experiences, then I wanted him to know that I was sorry I didn't get back at the time as I did't go onto that forum for a few weeks, and I could still do with the help.

jta
22-12-2011, 12:57 PM
Sue. Snorkerz regularly posts links to advice pages, just search his posts and you will probably find what you need.

mariner
22-12-2011, 16:59 PM
Unless Sue would like to share or better still post a link to the other Forum detailing her problem.

midlandslandlord
22-12-2011, 17:08 PM
You keep this conversation up until you reach 15, then PM him...

ML

Snorkerz
22-12-2011, 17:16 PM
Sue, I haven't had any PMs, and as Ericthelobster says, the rest of the forum may be able to help too. I have learned the vast majority of what I have learned from these guys.

Put some basic details on the forum, and if there is anything else that is essential, we will ask. That way, you don't give away more than you have to!

Ericthelobster
22-12-2011, 17:46 PM
So would this be the query, from a previous thread (http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?43242-Letting-agent-passing-the-buck) in this very forum a couple of weeks ago? Confused, as Snorkerz responded (publically) to that...?

SuefromCrewe
22-12-2011, 19:36 PM
Hi again,
Sorry to be confusing.
It does relate partly to the post on this forum, but I posted some of the problems on another forum before being directed to LLZ. While on the 1st forum, I was PM'd with an offer for some information relating to action that had been successful in a similar case to mine.

The LA has not done what they told me they would do, not followed their own guidelines, the Code of Conduct, or any instructions.
Phonecalls, e-mails and letters have gone unanswered, I have to chase them. The tenant has been a nightmare, for me and the neighbours, and they think I should put up with it.

I want to know what I can use and how to go about getting some comeback on the LA as they think they are untouchable.
I am very angry about their total lack of professionalism, incompetance, and arrogance, which they want to get a management fee for every month.
I want to know if there is any way I can force them to admit liability, or what breaches I can get them on.

As the offer was PM'd I assumed that it was to be confidential at that time, and only to be made public, possibly, at a later date.
Sorry, I don't want to come over all cloak and daggers, but I don't know how inter-forum swapping is regarded and allowed, and as the original offer was made via PM, I thought it had to be treated in the same manner.

If it is permitted, I will give details of the webside and my posting name here, some of you may have already contributed on that site, for which I thank you.:Kiss:

Snorkerz
22-12-2011, 21:12 PM
For clarity - I now know what Sue is refering to - a few years ago I was 'stung' by my first letting agent and had to sue for various problems. As I won the case I had PM'ed Sue to offer details of how I won my case. I shall dig the paperwork out and send it after Christmas.

In the mean time Sue, if you have further Qs related to the problem, I am sure the members will be happy to help if you post them at the end of the former thread (keeps all the info together).

SuefromCrewe
22-12-2011, 22:11 PM
Snorkerz
A very big thank you for remembering me, and for the offer to help. Whenever you feel you have the time to dig out the paperwork will be wonderful.

The rent from 25th November still hasn't been paid. She claimed that Social Services had told Housing Benefits to stop paying her. A claim they both vigorously denied, and HB Dept confirmed she has had all the rent paid into her account, and it is up to date. She only has to add just under £5 per month to make the full sum.
Because the next rent is due 25th Dec (Christmas Day) she will be in the 8 weeks on Boxing Day. HB dept have told me that if no rent has been paid in by 28th (1st working day after the break)they will arrange for the rent to be paid directly to me instead.
The contract is due to expire 24th March, so she will be expected to be out by then. If not, the council will have to continue to pay rent until she is gone.
Do you think I should wait until the rent starts being paid to me, then while she is still in the house put a claim in for the arrears to both her and the guarantor. £1640 bill, plus costs right after Christmas? One of them will have to pay it, and they could both get CCJ's.

I did want to get her out ages ago, but it seems that even with all the evidence against her, a Judge could see things differently and let her stay.
Maybe I should bite the bullet, let her stay as long as the rent is being paid directly to my account, wait until the contract is up, use the deposit for the repairs, sue her for the rent arrears and any extra costs, then go for the LA.

Concerns are - what if she does more damage between now and the time she goes? Will I be classed as not taking sufficient steps to prevent it? If it is deliberate damage as opposed to lax care will that be covered by the insurance, or is that criminal damage? Would the police even be bothered?
Do I have to give a reference if I can't tell the truth?

Nuff to worry about for now. To paraphrase from one of my favourite films "I'll think about it tomorrow. For tomorrow is another day!"

Moderator2
22-12-2011, 22:20 PM
In the mean time Sue, if you have further Qs related to the problem, I am sure the members will be happy to help if you post them at the end of the former thread (keeps all the info together).

It’s probably easier to merge the two threads, the original thread title has been retained.

mariner
23-12-2011, 01:38 AM
Sue based only on what has been revealed in this thread,
1 check your rent account Mon 28th
2 if T still has 2 month rent unpaid contact HB dept and arrange direct payment. Provide bank sort code and rent account number so transfer can be by BACS staright into account
3 Note if T has received all LHA to date, HB won't pay her arrears.
4 LHA is paid fortnightly in arrears so first payment may not be received for 2-6 weeks, depending on pyment cycle & set up time. Subs payments should be more regular (fortnightly)
5 Imm inform Guarantor the total amount of Ts rent unpaid and Gs liability.

As for LA, scrutinise the Agreement you made with LA. Their Breaches will stem from that. Also it should advise you what Penalties you may be liable to pay if you 'sack' them forthwith. I am sure S's info will be more informative on this.

justaboutsane
23-12-2011, 19:01 PM
Sue.... when you get to 15 posts pls PM me the name of the agent... I am in Stoke on trent and know some agents... would be interested to know who it is!!!

SuefromCrewe
28-12-2011, 13:50 PM
It's now the 28th so the rent is officially gone over the 8 weeks.
I rang the Letting Agents, who were going to ring me back to let me know if the rent for November and/or December had come in. Surprise, Surprise, over 3 hours later and they have not returned the call.
Direct number for HB officer which he gave me before Christmas is always engaged, so I will keep trying.

Written letter to Guarantor explaining that tenant is in arrears and that she is also responsible for the debt if it's not paid by Jan 18th. I've given her 3 weeks,as it's Christmas and it's not her fault the tenant is an ....... - whatever suits.
Anything else I should be doing?

SuefromCrewe
28-12-2011, 18:13 PM
Slowly trying to make it to the required 15 to be able to PM.
Does it mean that if someone who has over 15 posts Pms me that I can only PM a reply back when I also have over 15 messages?

I rang the LA at about 10.30 today. Got no reply by end of business today so I've posted a letter to the Guarantor explaining what's been going on, and warning her that if the tenant doesn't pay up, she will also be asked for the money.
She will get the letter tomorrow. I've no idea when I will get the money. I hope she wasn't planning on hitting the sales any day soon.

SuefromCrewe
29-12-2011, 18:09 PM
Really Big Plea for help from you guys.
Got in touch with Housing, sent the e-mail with the bank details for the rent to be paid to me, went out to get some food shopping.
Just come back with message waiting on the answerphone from Housing Dept.
They will be paying me on 17th Jan, but only for the rent owed up till 5th Jan as she has told them she is moving out on that date to a new property.
She owes £1640 so far, the contract runs out 24th March, and I know the house is in a dreadful state already.
What can I do? Legally? I know what I'd like to do, but that will not solve a thing.

SuefromCrewe
30-12-2011, 18:03 PM
Just trying to get to 15 posts so I can send a PM

SuefromCrewe
30-12-2011, 18:04 PM
This is no 13 - 2 to go

SuefromCrewe
30-12-2011, 19:10 PM
14th, having to snatch the keyboard back as everyone wants a turn

SuefromCrewe
30-12-2011, 19:11 PM
Now can I PM?
Let's have a go.

Mrs Mug
30-12-2011, 19:12 PM
Just trying to get to 15 posts so I can send a PM

Try posting in the "Take A Break" forum.

SuefromCrewe
03-01-2012, 22:20 PM
Further developments, as if it couldn't get any more complicated.
The LA still hadn't rung me with an update by 4.30 this afternoon, so I rang them. Such a "Couldn't care less and what do you want us to do about it?" attitude.
They seem to think it's not at all important, and that if we get her evicted they will try and get a new tenant in. AS IF!!

It turns out that a friend of mine lives next door to another of the LA's properties they are advertising. He spotted the LL at the house with the LA and a perspective tenant over the break and got chatting once the others had left.
The LL was not happy with them before, and even less so after he heard about my problems, which he was told about the week before this visit.

But here's the clincher - The LA was only trying to persuade him to take on a rush job tenant with exactly the same situation as mine has, using exactly the same story as they used on me, coming from the same village as my tenant is now, and with the same dodgy reference and an extremely suspicious sounding guarantor. They wanted her to be in between Christmas and New Year, and got very shirty with him when he refused.

Because of the two locations it is highly unlikely they would expect us to know of each other. What he is going to do is have a word next time he sees the other LL, get some details, and if they tally the two of us LL's will go to the office together and put the fear of the Almighty in them when they realise they have been rumbled.

What would the penalties be for assisting a tenant under contract, and in serious arrears, to breach their contract, to abscond with the rent, leave one LL out of pocket, while charging another for finders fees, references etc, and claiming management fees from both?

If she does a runner between now and the end of the contract, we will be over £3k down in rent, plus the damage she has done. The LA said at least we will have the deposit (which is quarter of what will be owed, not including damage and clearing up). When I said I would take the Guarantor to Court to recover the rent the LA's answer was 'she told me it would be a waste of time because she hasn't got any money' - and these were the people who put her forward as a suitable guarantor, even when she wasn't!

Confused? You will be after this weeks edition of "Strop".
Cheers Folks, and Goodnight!

SuefromCrewe
05-01-2012, 16:32 PM
Well I have been informed that the tenant has been seen packing her stuff in the car to do a runner as we speak.
The rent still hasn't been paid (now there's a suprise), and the property is said to look like a slum.

I informed the LA yesterday that I had been told she was going to be doing a bolt, and they said they would ring back after they had been to check it out.
Guess what? No prizes for answering 'No Calls'.

When can I name and shame? If they get taken to Court and it is public knowledge? I am so annoyed that they can behave like this.
Is is worth reporting them to their Head Office, or are they as bad as each other? Does their Ombudsman have any teeth, or is it just a group of people who close ranks to outsiders with the temerity to find fault in their money making exercises?

I apologise in advance to all you decent Letting Agents who do everything by the book, and take care of your clients (landlords and tenants), but why, out of all of the choices available have I ended up with an Agent who doesn't care, and a tenant from hell?

SuefromCrewe
06-01-2012, 17:21 PM
Just gone 5pm on Friday. The tenant went off in the van at 4.15 yesterday.
She came back today for a while and I've been told she still has stuff in the house.
The LA still haven't been back in touch to tell me diddly squat.
I have to assume therefore that they don't care less, are totally unprofessional, and are covering their backs.
Am I correct that as long as she still have stuff in the house, has not handed her keys back, as far as I know, and has not given any notice to quit (in her case she should give 1 month to me, and I should give 2) taht she is still responsible for the rent until the end of the AST? So that even if she has her rent paid for the new place by the HB, she will still have to pay me until the contract is up, OR she sends a written request to terminate early, and I accept.

If the LA are not chasing her, or reporting back to me, the rent is not being paid to her, and they are not doing what they they should be doing, do I still have to pay their management fees? If I refuse - no tenant and no rent, can they still try and get what they might see as their money from me?
As she did a bunk with 2 months rent that they were too slow to chase her for I am tempted to tell them to trace her and deduct it from she owes.

Snorkerz
06-01-2012, 17:41 PM
The remains liable for rent until the contract is up / due notice is given or both parties act as if it isn't.

I know your situation is non 'normal' but the agent are not responsible or the tenants debts - unless you can prove to a court that their actions caused the debt. Until then, you owe as per the contract. Whether they'd be willing to sue for it is another matter, but they'd probably counterclaim if/when you sue them.

Ironically, tenant can claim housing benefit for 2 properties during the notice period - but they have to apply for it, and they won't.

SuefromCrewe
09-01-2012, 08:45 AM
Housing Dept have confirmed that she was moving into a new house on the 5th.
My neighbours have confirmed that she did leave my house on that date, with a van full of stuff.
They have also said she has been back several times since, in her car picking up more bits and pieces.
As there are no curtains up they can see no furniture in the front rooms from their houses, but there is still stuff in the garage.
If the furniture is still in part of the house, and the keys have not been returned, and no notice to leave has been given by her, can I assume that she is still legally responsible for the house and rent? even if the Housing Benefit is no longer being given to her.

I am also assuming that I am still not allowed legally to go into the property to check it, change the locks, or take any of the stuff she has left behind to a secure storage location for safety while we try and get the house ready for either another tenant (glutton for punishment), or to put on the market.
I realise it would be cheaper to offer it at a lower price "as is", but it could put off potential buyers suspicious of underlying problems, who will then try and undercut even more.

Ericthelobster
09-01-2012, 14:35 PM
Housing Dept have confirmed that she was moving into a new house on the 5th.
My neighbours have confirmed that she did leave my house on that date, with a van full of stuff.
They have also said she has been back several times since, in her car picking up more bits and pieces.Can you surreptitiously follow her to the new house, to get its address?

SuefromCrewe
10-01-2012, 15:28 PM
Sadly - No
I don't drive, and my friends' cars are all too easy to spot.

She dropped the keys off at the Letting Agents office last night, but didn't leave a forwarding address.
How forgetful! I'm sure she will be round with it later when she remembers, won't she? :(shake):.

Keep smiling! It confuses people!