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View Full Version : Letting co. gone bust!! Landlord won't honour bond



hilly
02-06-2005, 15:59 PM
About 2 months ago we found out that the residential letting company that were employed by our landlord had 'done a bunk' in the middle of the night.

We have live at the property for a year and 2 months.

The L/L has now said that unless we sign a contract for another 12months (our original contract ends in October) he will not honour the £550 bond that was paid to the company in April 2004.

In October our total tenancy will be 18 months.

The L/L has now told us we will have to move out if we don't agree to pay another £225 (half of a 2nd bond to which he will pay the other £225)

Does anyone know if we have legal grounds to persue the original bond with him as the tenancy agreement drawn up by the letting company stated that the agreement was betwenn us and the landlord.

PaulF
02-06-2005, 16:31 PM
About 2 months ago we found out that the residential letting company that were employed by our landlord had 'done a bunk' in the middle of the night. Tell us who they are - please! It might save somebody else's skin!

We have live at the property for a year and 2 months.

The L/L has now said that unless we sign a contract for another 12months (our original contract ends in October) he will not honour the £550 bond that was paid to the company in April 2004. This has absolutely nothing to do with your situation and should be resisted at the moment.

In October our total tenancy will be 18 months.

The L/L has now told us we will have to move out if we don't agree to pay another £225 (half of a 2nd bond to which he will pay the other £225). You do not have to replace the "bond" whilst you are living there, and this should extend to any subsequent tenancy, and nor do you have to move out until October. If the landlord harasses you he will be committing an offence under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977

Does anyone know if we have legal grounds to persue the original bond with him as the tenancy agreement drawn up by the letting company stated that the agreement was between us and the landlord. You are correct in the status of your agreement but the agent held your deposit "in trust", and it does after all belong to YOU. Any dipidations at the end of the tenancy will come out of this money and the landlord will have to pursue the absconding agent if need be. You will have to pursue the agent for the money otherwise, and if you can't find him then you might have to wait until somebody else does as he probably owes money to more than one tenant. Your local newspaper might be interested in this and could well have further details.
If your agent was a member of NAEA/ARLA/RICS then there will be insurance from which you can put in a claim for all your money lost.

hilly
02-06-2005, 16:40 PM
Thanks Paul for your help :D

P.Pilcher
02-06-2005, 21:03 PM
Paul - interesting point here: You are saying that the tenant must persue the AGENT for the bond, but in all dealings it was made clear that the agent was acting on behalf of the landlord hence, shouldn't the tenant persue the landlord for repayment of this bond and the landlord can then persue the absconding agent?

P.P.

PaulF
03-06-2005, 08:39 AM
No! Not unless it was given to the agent via the landlord. I know where you're coming from though, and it's harsh on the tenant.

The landlord can't use the money unless there has been a breach of the tenancy, and has no other control over the deposit. He can't access it anyway whilst the agent has it, and all he can do is instruct the agent to pass it to him under certain circumstances during the tenancy but usually after the end of the tenancy. If the agent has "gone" then he has no access to it, so he himself might be out of pocket if there are dilapidation to be assessed at the end of the tenancy. Remember he can't recover the money from the tenant either.

There are losers all round here.

Of course the new Housing Act 2004 has addressed this and any letting agent or landlord who does not have client money protection insurance will be able to hold deposits so this won't occur after this comes into force.