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Mark W
20-12-2011, 13:55 PM
Hi,

Strange situation. I rent through an estate agent 'A' who manage the property on behalf of Landlord 'L' who lives abroad. I do know Landlord 'L's address although the address for serving papers is that of the estate agent.

Yesterday the estate agent 'A' emailed me to say that as of today the property is managed by a new estate agent 'B', but didn't ask me if that was okay, or give me the new address to serve papers to, nor did estate agent 'B' contact me at all to give that information or to give me the new bank details to pay my standing order into for the rent.

1) Is this actually legal for me to be put in a position I haven't been given any address to serve papers to? Is it sufficient that I could google B's address and assume that is the relevant address?

2) Am I actually obliged to take positive steps to find out where I should be paying the rent? If not, should I cancel the previous standing order while I wait to see if they ever do contact me, or just pay the rent to A and then tell them to sort it out between themselves? Is there a minimum amount of notice required for them to give me of the new place to pay rent? Rent is paid each month on the 1st - but if B only give me the instructions on the 1st I hardly see how I can be expected to walk around and pay it to someone in cash because the banks are closed...

3) Does B need to notify me that my tenancy deposit has been transferred to them under the scheme, or will A still hang on to this even though I have nothing to do with them any more?

Perhaps I should just completely ignore the communication from 'A' and carry on as if I had never received any email since theirs is the only mailing/email address/bank details I've ever been given, and their name appears on the tenancy agreement?

thesaint
20-12-2011, 17:14 PM
Agent "B" needs to contact you.
If you decide to ignore the notice from "A", then you may well end up paying your rent twice.

They do not need to give you notice between telling you where to pay rent. If it was a day or two before a standing order was to be debited from your account, then it would be a different matter, but this does not seem the case.

Where is your deposit held?

Mark W
20-12-2011, 17:23 PM
I'm not sure exactly what you mean by 'where is your deposit held'. It's registered with the 'Tenancy Deposit Scheme', my tenancy agreement has a section which states:

Details of the Deposit Holder:

A.2. Name(s) Canary Wharf (yes this is actually what it says in the name section!)

A.3 Actual Address "Here is the address of my old estate agent"

A.4. A.5. A.6 - these are the email, telephone, and fax of my old estate agent.

To clarify your other point, I should cancel my previous standing order and wait patiently for the other estate agent to contact me?

It seems strange to me that what has been done is legal, what would I have done if I had wished to serve notice to quit today, I have no address to send it to!

ram
20-12-2011, 17:38 PM
To clarify your other point, should I cancel my previous
standing order and wait patiently for the other estate agent to contact me?

It seems strange to me that what has been done is legal, what would I have
done if I had wished to serve notice to quit today, I have no address to send it
to!

If it were me ( but you decide what to do ) I would write to the L.A. stating that
as they are not managing the property any more, you will not be forwarding any rent
to them and have cancelled your standing order. ( so you don't pay twice )
But make sure to "save" the rent for the next agent.

You DO have a service address of the landlord, it's the previous letting agent,
even if you don't like it. If you do write to the landlord, the old agent should pass on
your letter.

Of course it's "Legal" to change letting agents, as they are employed by the
Landlord, and he can choose whoever he wants to manage on his behalf.

Just save the rent till you are informed where and to whom payable.

R.a.M.

Mark W
20-12-2011, 17:51 PM
That's true, I can still serve papers to the old address (if I did actually have anything I wanted to serve!) I suppose I was hoping, since I'm such a scrooge, that I might be able to get out of a day or twos rent under s.47 / s.48.

When the new agent does eventually get his act together and contact me, will he try and draw up a new tenancy agreement? (Since the current one of course has the old estate agents name on it). In that case am I entitled to decline such a request and keep the current contract?

jta
20-12-2011, 18:06 PM
Nobody can force you to sign a new contract, your tenancy continues under the same terms as the original one, if it's now a 'statutory periodic tenancy' it would not be in your interests to sign a new fixed agreement unless you want the security of a fixed term.

mariner
21-12-2011, 02:23 AM
I would inform LL in writing, sent to last known UK contact address for service of Notices, copy to EA1, that you have been informed that EA1 no longer manages property from <date>. Therefore you have cancelled rent SO to EA1 and rent due after above date will be paid on demand to authorised recipient when LL provides required account details. Until notification of new UK address for service of Notices (stat requirement of AST)is provided you will continue to use the existing adddress.

emwithme
21-12-2011, 18:23 PM
That's true, I can still serve papers to the old address (if I did actually have anything I wanted to serve!) I suppose I was hoping, since I'm such a scrooge, that I might be able to get out of a day or twos rent under s.47 / s.48.

It doesn't work like that, unfortunately. Rent isn't due unless you've got an address (which can be agent's) but once you do have an address, the whole amount owing becomes due.

So if you don't pay on 1 Jan because you don't have the details, and they don't give you details until (say) 1 Feb, that doesn't mean you've had a month rent-free. It means you need to pay them two months on 1 Feb and then again as "normal" from 1 March onwards.