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eglandlord
13-12-2011, 13:05 PM
Hello,

Apologies if this subject has been covered elsewhere previously

I have rented houses previously, but this is my first experience in letting via an agent. I have a tenant in place, and recently contacted the agent, as I had realised that the 6 month tenancy agreement was nearing and end. I asked for a rolling monthly contract, but they said they would not typically do that so would contact the tenant and ask if they would prefer a 6 or 12 month contract and let me know.

Yesterday, I received a signed 12 month contract in the post.

The issue I have, is that subsequent to my call with the agent, I realised that I really do need a rolling monthly contract as I may need to sell the property within the next 6 months, the longer-term contracts drawn up by the agent we have used stipulate that I cannot serve notice until 6 months are up, although, if I sell, I will need to do so prior to this.

my question is, can my agent sign a contract on my behalf, when I have not agreed the duration, and have not signed an agreement with the agent allowing them to do so

Any advice would be really greatly appreciated.

Many thanks

thesaint
13-12-2011, 13:27 PM
Has the agency issued the new tenancy agreement to the tenant?

If not, phone and confirm in writing that they under no circumstances are to issue/renew a tenancy without your written permission.

eglandlord
13-12-2011, 15:05 PM
They have sent me a signed copy of the new tenancy agreement that the tenant has signed and the agent has signed in the landlord section, so I would assume that the tenant already has a copy too unfortunately.

eglandlord
13-12-2011, 15:06 PM
I have checked in the agreement I have with the agents and we definitely have not agreed that they can sign a contract on our behalf

bhaal
13-12-2011, 20:10 PM
Unfortunately you are almost certainly bound to the contract. Either the agent will have actual authority as an incident of a power you did give them in the agreement or the tenant will be able to rely on the ostensible authority created by you appointing the estate agent as your agent. It is a common facet of a landlord/agent relationship that the agent is able to sign contracts on the landlord's behalf so this creates an estoppel between you and the tenant preventing you from denying the agent has authority. If the agent has acted without actual authority you may have a claim against them for damages.

eglandlord
13-12-2011, 21:59 PM
thank you. I suspected this might be the case.

My husband has spoken to the agent today, who has been saying to him that I instructed them to do this (which isn't the case)So while I believe we would at least have a case against them for damages, as the conversation was via telephone it is my word against theirs. What this basically means for me now, is that I own a house that has a tenant in it, am having to rent a house, and have no hope of owning a house that I can live in myself because I am unable to get another mortgage.

theartfullodger
13-12-2011, 22:24 PM
Bribe Tenant to go?

thesaint
14-12-2011, 10:37 AM
thank you. I suspected this might be the case.

My husband has spoken to the agent today, who has been saying to him that I instructed them to do this


Why don't you speak to the agent?

It's a lot easier to tell your husband rather than to tell you that you told them something that simply wasn't said.