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99sc1610
12-05-2007, 11:42 AM
Both my Landlord and his agent's are repeatedly ignoring my requests for information regarding the moving out procedure. We are due to move out in a few weeks but have not been told who we give the keys to and when the inventory and condition of the house will be inspected. Previous advice on here told me to contact the landlord/agent to find out but they will not respond. Im getting increasingly concerned about this, especially when i have just looked at the Companies House records for the letting agents and found out they have been making a substantial operating loss over the last 12 -24 months and the directors owe the company £50,000. Something doesn't quite seem right here.

Esio Trot
12-05-2007, 12:17 PM
.... the directors owe the company £50,000.

Are you sure it's that way round?

Between them, our two limited companies owe us, as directors, around £150K. We charge the company 5% over base for an unsecured loan - this interest which is paid to us by the company is in effect a form of our income, but although taxable, has the advantage of not being liable to Employees National Insurance - thus giving us around 10% extra than if we drew it as salary.

99sc1610
12-05-2007, 12:34 PM
Yeah im sure its that way round. The financial statements say that "At the year end the directors owed the company £43,220". I am studying company law at the moment (very briefly) but i cannot quite get around what is going on. From what i now know of one of the directors she is not exactly the most honest in the world. Have you any why the accounts are like they are?

J4L
12-05-2007, 12:40 PM
I think regardless of their affairs (which you will find are quite 'normal' in business i.e. to show a loss and to take directors loans.) your main concern is the end of tenancy procedure and not their financial situation.
I think you just need to keep on at the agent until you get satisfactory answers.

99sc1610
12-05-2007, 12:46 PM
Ok, but if i do keep on at them and like for the whole of this tenancy get no answers, then what am i to do then? Also, we were told at the point of signing the contract that the deposit would go straight to the landlord when we moved in, as he only had an introductory service. That was acceptable to us yet now we find out the agent has kept the deposit in their bank account the whole time. Is there anyway we make them hand the deposit to the landlord, after all the contract is with him and its him that would end up being sued.

J4L
12-05-2007, 13:00 PM
Ok, but if i do keep on at them and like for the whole of this tenancy get no answers, then what am i to do then? Also, we were told at the point of signing the contract that the deposit would go straight to the landlord when we moved in, as he only had an introductory service. That was acceptable to us yet now we find out the agent has kept the deposit in their bank account the whole time. Is there anyway we make them hand the deposit to the landlord, after all the contract is with him and its him that would end up being sued.
Well I think if the Landlord has let the agent keep the money after an introduction only agreement then he's quite foolish. As you say your arrangement is with the LL and it is for him to sort out the return of the deposit. I'm sure once you move out and request a return of it the LL will soon pull his finger out and get onto the agent.
I personally would think carefully about employing someone to do an inventory for you on the day you move out and take a whole load of pictures to back up your case should you need to do so in court.

P.Pilcher
12-05-2007, 16:23 PM
If your landlord/agent continually refuses to impliment any form of moving out procedures, then ensure you have photographs showing the state of the property when you leave. Note your meter readings, liase with the utility companies and local authority to settle your final bills and on the day that you are due to move out, personally return the keys to the landlord/agent. Obtain a written receipt for these, making enquiries about the return of your deposit. If/when you realise that the deposit refund is not going to be forthcoming, write to the landlord, giving him seven days for a full refund and if he does not, apply to the small claims court. Do not attempt to take action against the agent, just the landlord. If he tries to defend the action, and he has no signed inventory taken when you took the property over, he has no leg to stand on. If he has such an inventory, you have the necessary photographs to refute any false claims he may attempt to make. Should he make any reasonable claims, he should provide the receipts to prove that he actually incurred the rectification costs concerned and don't forget that you are allowed fair wear and tear.

P.P.

99sc1610
12-05-2007, 17:18 PM
Thanks for that P.P. He does have a signed inventory, but that was signed on 12th September, we moved in on the 8th September, not sure if the delay is relevant to my case. The inventory itself is not very thorough, i.e. ("Number of Tables 1, chairs 4) Says nothing about the condition of the furniture, carpets, walls etc. Do you think that will stand up in court? Also, the front page of the tenancy contract was torn off and a new sheet stapled in its place by the landlord/agent. If i end up making a claim, would that be worth mentioning in court?

J4L
12-05-2007, 18:25 PM
I think PP was saying much the same as I was there. You really don't have much that you can target against the agent here. Take photos and do your own inventory (or get a professional to do it, this may stand up better in court)
I think the most important thing to remember for yourself and anyone who is reading this is to log any communication that takes place methodically so if a court case is imminent then you have records of who you spoke to, when, and what their reply was. In my experience the logging of communication will stand up better in court as it shows the judge your character and the way you approach situations. If the LL or agent is not as methodical it will go against them and the case will tend to lean in your favour.

P.Pilcher
12-05-2007, 19:05 PM
Despite what J4L says at the bottom of his post, he is IMHO, totally correct. If the inventory held by the landlord makes no reference to the condition of the property, then he cannot make any claims with regard to damage that you may have caused. Provided that the items mentioned are present and correct, you are in the clear. I would suggest that there is little merit in mentioning the agent's unprofessional attitude in removing and replacing the cover sheet of your AST unless it has some bearing on your claim or you wish to use it as an example of the agent/landlord's unprofessionalism. however, I should be very careful if you do.

P.P.

Tweedle Dum
12-05-2007, 22:44 PM
Thats presumig the landlord withholds the deposit which he hasn't actually done yet.

99sc1610
13-05-2007, 09:53 AM
Of course, but given the changing dates on contracts and demanding that he can get access to the house etc i think its best to start building a case sooner rather than later

J4L
13-05-2007, 10:52 AM
Of course, but given the changing dates on contracts and demanding that he can get access to the house etc i think its best to start building a case sooner rather than later

I totally agree. I'd rather build a case now and not need to use it rather than rush ro do one if you find you do.

99sc1610
14-05-2007, 19:50 PM
Hi Everyone

Have an update to my posting now. Just heard from the landlord via text and he has said that he will check the inventory and meter readings on the day we move out. He also states that the agent has the deposit, something which still concerns me given that they are very hard to get an answer out of. What do you think i should do now.....try going to the agent at the end of the tenancy or write to the landlord stating that he is liable to return the deposit as opposed to the agents. (as i mentioned before we were told the agent would pass desposit on to landlord as he has only has a tenant introduction service not full management)

Thanks

Bel
15-05-2007, 00:01 AM
I would write to the LL voicing your concerns about the agent holding the deposit. Ask the LL how long it will take the deposit to be returned to you after the tenancy because you need the money. Get him to chase the agent.

Be tactful; he hasn't done anything wrong yet.

Tell him you hold him liable later on, only if the agent does not pay you

If push comes to shove, he will be liable; but it may take time

P.Pilcher
15-05-2007, 09:02 AM
Remember that the agent is contracted to the landlord - not you, so any action you take to get your deposit returned must be against the landlord, irrespective of any excuses he gives. The agent has taken the deposit on the landlord's behalf, and you should have nothing to do with him if he refuses to return your deposit.

P.P.

99sc1610
15-05-2007, 09:12 AM
Thanks. Heard from him again and says that will return all of the deposit within 7-10 days of us leaving and will check the house when we leave. Hopefully it will all work ok.

P.Pilcher
15-05-2007, 10:14 AM
Yes - that sounds like the sort of thing that I would say and do. If he finds any excuse to reduce your deposit when he carries out his inspection, try and agree the amount of the deduction, make sure he is not trying to gain any betterment - you are allowed fair wear and tear, and request he sends you copies of quotations/receipts where appropriate. Hopefully he will be happy and refund you in full as he promised. I have never yet failed to get a tenant's agreement when a deposit deduction has been appropriate and this is, for me, a very rare occurrence.

P.P.